Oak Mountain takes down Homewood, remains unbeaten

Published 8:06 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

KIMBERLY – The Oak Mountain Eagles basketball team continues to see its confidence rise with each win, and on Monday, Nov. 19, they were looking to remain undefeated on the season with a second round matchup against Homewood in the Jeff Dennis Jewelers Invitational at Mortimer Jordan High School.

Thanks to a strong free throw shooting performance going 15-19 from the line, as well as an 8-0 run late in the final quarter, the Eagles not only picked up a 57-44 victory, but never trailed in the game after a strong start in the first quarter.

Oak Mountain started the game like a team that is unbeaten with a strong first period, opening the frame on an 8-0 run taking advantage of a cold Homewood team early on.

The fast start was due to a multitude of players, but started with Turner Youngblood, who had four early points for the Eagles.

While he got started early for Oak Mountain, it was Drew Dunn late, who made three consecutive jump shots near the end of the quarter to end the frame with seven points and give the Eagles a 19-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Oak Mountain got field goals from five different players in the quarter and points from six different players, which led to the fast start.

The Patriots, however, aren’t a team that lets a slow start keep them down, which led to a strong run in the second quarter.

After a scoreless first 2:10 of the quarter, Stone Evers hit a 3-pointer for Oak Mountain to extend its lead to 22-6. Once that basket fell, the rest of the period was an offensive shootout.

The Eagles eventually grabbed a 24-8 lead, but after that, Homewood answered with a quick 7-0 run, before eventually extending that run to 14-5, which cut the Oak Mountain lead to five points at 27-22.

With the Patriots on a run and stealing all of the momentum away from the Eagles to get back in the game, a big shift in momentum happened just before the half.

After a huge defensive rebound by Zane Nelson after a 3-pointer just rimmed, the Eagles held for one final shot. Drew Dunn got the ball, put a move on his defender to drive down the lane before kicking out to a wide open Nelson who buried a 3-pointer with two seconds left to give Oak Mountain a huge shot of momentum going into the halftime break with a 30-22 lead.

Just like the beginning of the second quarter, however, Homewood rebounded to start the second half.

The Patriots answered with a 3-pointer of their own early in the third quarter to make the one by Oak Mountain just before the half cancel out.

Homewood also canceled out Oak Mountain’s 8-0 run to start the game with an 8-0 run of its own to start the second half, which ultimately tied the game 30-30.

The Eagles answered the adversity, however, by closing the quarter out on an 11-5 run thanks in large part to an and-1 by Nelson with 5.5 seconds left in the period to take a 41-35 lead into the final quarter.

Oak Mountain was able to build off of that early in the second quarter with an 8-4 run thanks to Dunn knocking down two 3-pointers for a 6-1 run by himself.

That gave the Eagles a 10-point 49-39 lead, and it’s one they didn’t relinquish the rest of the way.

Homewood hit a 3-pointer shortly after to cut the Oak Mountain lead to seven points, but that’s as close as the Patriots got the rest of the way, as the Eagles closed the game out making five of their six free throws between Nelson and Youngblood.

Oak Mountain was led by Dunn with 17 points after he hit six field goals and went 2-2 at the line. Nelson also had a strong day at the line going 5-5 to give the Eagles two double figure scorers with 12 points. Youngblood added nine points after going 3-4 at the line. Nine different players scored for Oak Mountain in the win.

The Eagles will now face Pelham or tournament host Mortimer Jordan in the championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m.