Oak Mountain wins third tournament of the year
Published 3:26 pm Monday, January 4, 2016
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
JEMISON – For the first time in school history, the Oak Mountain boys’ basketball team has won three regular season tournament titles. The first came with an 11-point victory over cross-county foe Briarwood in the finals of the Bryant Bank tournament in Trussville in late November. The second came against area opponent Thompson in finals of the Shelby County tournament on Dec. 19 with a convincing 55-42 win. The last and most recent title came on Dec. 30 with a last-second, one-point win over Oxford in the Jemison Holiday tournament.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever done that, win three regular season tournaments in a season,” Oak Mountain coach Chris Love said on Jan. 4. “We kind of played that up, we had a chance to do something no team in school history had done.”
The Eagles rolled over Friendship Christian School out of Lebanon, Tenn., in the first game of the tournament by a final of 54-24. Yeadon Patrick and Gabe Haynes had 11 and 10 points, respectively to lead Oak Mountain in the opening round game.
Advancing to the semifinals, the Eagles took on previously unbeaten Thomasville and won by a final of 54-42 thanks in part to the offensive performances of Wyatt Armstrong and Will Stephenson, who had 16 and 14 points. Armstrong hit four three-pointers in the game to help lead the Eagles to the championship game.
The championship game against 6A Oxford was by far Oak Mountain’s toughest game of the tournament. Payton Youngblood scored with five seconds left in the game to give Oak Mountain the 39-38 win and its third regular season title of the year.
“The Oxford game was encouraging because they were playing well and it was a gut-check kind of game,” Love said. “We kept hanging around and kept competing. It wasn’t a pretty game but it was encouraging.”
The Eagles held Oxford to just 10 second half points, just two of which came in the fourth quarter, and now stand at 12-6 as they prepare to enter area play.