Oak Mountain earns first two wins of season as Eagles beat Hueytown, Helena

Published 9:21 am Monday, December 4, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

While the beginning of the season may not have gone how the Oak Mountain Eagles hoped, they have a pair of reasons to celebrate after earning their first two wins of the year.

The Eagles defeated the Hueytown Golden Gophers 67-60 on Thursday, Nov. 30, and a day later on Friday, Dec. 1, they took a big county showdown with the Helena Huskies with a 41-35 victory.

In their game against Hueytown, Caroline Kester got Oak Mountain’s long-range shooting going with a pair of three-pointers, but the Eagles trailed 11-8 at the end of the first quarter after a solid effort by the Golden Gophers.

However, that would change when the second quarter rolled around.

Oak Mountain’s offense had its way in the next eight minutes, dropping 21 on Hueytown to take the lead. Zyaire Walker had six points in the quarter while her Eagles teammates added a trio of three-pointers to give them the 29-24 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was a hard-fought battle between the two sides, and Keller and Lucy McKeown powered Oak Mountain’s offense almost entirely by themselves with seven points apiece.

The Golden Gophers would score 19 in the quarter to trim the Eagles’ lead to just two going into the fourth, and that set off a battle until the finish line.

Hueytown’s offense kept it in the game, but Oak Mountain closed the door behind some great shooting performances of its own.

Raegan Whitaker scored nine points in the fourth quarter to lead the way for the Eagles, while Maggie Norris added a pair of three’s and Oak Mountain as a team shot 7-for-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the seven-point victory, Oak Mountain’s first of the year.

McKeown scored a team-high 15 points, while Whitaker and Kester each had 13 in the win. In addition, Norris scored nine points and Walker and Addie Green scored six points each.

The Eagles carried the momentum from that win into their matchup with Helena to take the lead early on.

McKeown and Kester combined for 13 of Oak Mountain’s 15 first-quarter points, which gave the Eagles a four-point lead after the quarter ended.

The Huskies cut into that 15-11 lead to make it a one-possession game at halftime.

Helena’s Terri Moody built on her five-point effort in the first quarter with six more in the second. That helped the Huskies make the most of a low-scoring quarter as both teams combined for 14 points, with Helena scoring eight of them.

Oak Mountain held onto a 21-19 lead at the break, and that set up the sides for a battle down the stretch.

Whitaker scored all eight of the Eagles’ points in the third quarter, which edged out Helena’s seven points to lead 29-26 going into the fourth.

While Helena put together a valiant effort, including seven second-half points from Isabel Heintz, Whitaker and Kester scored all 12 points for Oak Mountain in the fourth to power their team to the 41-35 win.

Kester led the Eagles with 15 points, Whitaker dropped 14 points and McKeown had 10 points as they secured victories on back-to-back nights.

As for Helena, Moody scored 14 points for the Huskies, Heintz had seven points and Hannah Satterfield scored three baskets for six points.