Oak Mountain holds off Helena to close regular season

Published 10:29 pm Friday, February 1, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HELENA – Despite a strong fourth-quarter push from the Helena Huskies on senior night that featured a 17-4 run, the Oak Mountain girls basketball team had opened up a big lead and held on for a 51-41 road victory on Friday, Feb. 1.

While the Huskies’ seniors put on a strong showing in the final quarter, including Melanie Watson, Chloe Van Covering and Julia Hensley, but the middle two quarters of the game belonged to Oak Mountain.

It was Hannah Edwards out of the gate for the Eagles to open a strong night of scoring. Oak Mountain posted 12 points in the opening period and Edwards was responsible for 10 of those 12 points, while Kailey Rory posted the other two.

The Eagles realized early in the game that Helena didn’t have an answer for Edwards down low and they took advantage.

Offensively, however, the Huskies did have an answer early in the game and poured in five made field goals, including two 3-pointers to even the score at 12-12 heading to the second quarter.

That’s when the game started leaning in the favor of the Eagles.

Oak Mountain was disappointed in its defensive effort in the first eight minutes of the game and it showed with a much more aggressive and fast style in the second quarter.

The Eagles went from allowing five made field goals and two 3-pointers to allowing just one and two points in the second period.

That really sparked a lot of easy scoring opportunities for Oak Mountain as well. The majority of those opportunities came from Rory, who drained five field goals and one free throw in the quarter to post 11 points by herself.

She also got help from two 3-pointers, as the Eagles posted 17 points in the quarter to open up a 29-14 lead at the halftime break.

Coming out of the halftime break, Oak Mountain kept up the pressure and got six more points from Rory as well as six from Clara Fuller to help spark a 14-5 to give the Eagles a 43-19 lead with 3:07 left in the period.

Helena put together a small run, but still went to the final quarter of play down 45-24.

With the 21-point lead, Oak Mountain got the opportunity to rest some starters in the fourth quarter and get some other players playing time.

Helena, however, wasn’t ready to give up on the game.

After the Eagles scored three points of the period, the Huskies answered with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 48-34 with 2:22 remaining.

That wasn’t all the fight they had left, as the Huskies eventually extended that run 14-2 with 1:41 remaining to make it an 11-point game thanks to a strong defensive effort and hustle to the ball.

Oak Mountain hit a big basket shortly after to extend the lead back to 13 points at 51-48, but Helena closed the game with one more 3-pointer to make the final score 51-41 thanks to a 17-4 run to end the game.

The Eagles were led by Rory with 19 points in the victory, while Edwards added 12 points.

Helena was led by Autumn Edmonds with 12 points, while all three seniors scored at least two points in the game. Van Covering had six points, Watson had three and Hensley added two.