Eagles get opening round win in tourney

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Zaxby’s Invitational tournament host Oak Mountain got an opening round, 51-46, win over Carver High School on Tuesday, Dec. 20. The Eagles (10-5) used two players with 16-plus points in the game to win a tightly contested game.

The two teams started out slow in the first quarter of the game only combining for seven made field goals. The difference was a 3-pointer knocked down by Carver, which gave them an 11-8 advantage.

If you thought things might have changed in the second quarter, then you were wrong as both offenses struggled again. The Eagles only knocked down three field goals for the second consecutive quarter, but that was still one more than Carver was able to make. Oak Mountain was able to grab a 10-6 edge in the quarter and take a slip one-point 18-17 lead.

Notable in the first half was that the Eagles only hit six jump shots and were an ugly 5-12 from the free throw line. It was also somewhat of a shock that Oak Mountain’s leading scorer, Will Stephenson, had just one point through the first two quarters of action. Sophomore Chris Mayweather, however, had done his part to give the Eagles some offense with his six points.

The third quarter was a much different story though. Stephenson came out on fire and couldn’t miss as he posted 12 points on three 3-point plays, one the old fashion way. He had all but six of Oak Mountain’s 18 points in the quarter, which was their highest point total for any quarter on the night. They had also made one more field goal in the quarter than they did all of the first half.

The Eagles’ defense also continued full throttle and held Carver to just eight points as Oak Mountain jumped up 36-25 heading into the fourth.

That great defense got away from Oak Mountain in the fourth, however, as they tried to let Carver climb back into the game. The Rams knocked down four 3-pointers in the quarter on their way to 21 points. The Eagles held steady on the offensive end though and were able to fend off Carver with 16 fourth-quarter points of their own to preserve a five-point win.

Mayweather had six points in the quarter and the Eagles hit all five of their free throws to seal the deal.

Stephenson led Oak Mountain 17 points in the game, 16 of which came in the second half. Mayweather had 16 points in a balanced effort throughout and added eight rebounds. He has shown great poise and athleticism all year long for a sophomore. The win gave the Eagles their 10th of the season.