Jasinski, Johnson lead Oak Mountain to area rivalry win against Chelsea

Published 8:30 am Friday, January 19, 2024

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Publisher

NORTH SHELBY – After losing their first two games of area play by 11 points or less, the Oak Mountain Eagles were looking for a spark in their first battle against area rival Chelsea this season on Thursday, Jan. 18, and they got it in the form of Kevin Jasinski and Emanuel Johnson.

The two leaders for the Eagles combined for 39 points thanks to 14 made shots between the two, including seven made 3-pointers.

That scoring was part of a consistent effort for Oak Mountain that saw the Eagles score between 14 and 16 points in every period of the game to fend off the Hornets in a tight 61-57 area battle.

With Chelsea also entering the matchup with two tight area losses—a one-point area loss to Hewitt-Trussville and a 10-point loss to Spain Park—it set up a thrilling back-and-forth battle.

The first quarter, however, made a big difference in the game as the Eagles were able to gain the early momentum.

Oak Mountain hit four 3-pointers in the opening period, two of which came from Jasinski, while Johnson chipped in two made field goals to help the Eagles put together their first of two 16-point quarters in the game.

They matched that with their best defensive output of the game, limiting Chelsea to three made field goals and eight points in the opening period to take an eight-point advantage out of the gate.

The Hornets, however, had answers throughout.

In the second quarter, the y put together their first of two 19-point quarters in the game that helped them compete down the stretch.

Chelsea hit seven shots in the second quarter, including two made 3-pointers from the game’s leading scorer in Gavin Collett. He was joined by four points each from Jaxon Shuttlesworth and Christen Whetstone.

The Hornets also improved defensively, limiting the Eagles to their lowest output of the game offensively, but Oak Mountain was still consistent with 14 points, including three more made shots from beyond the arc.

Still, Chelsea had trimmed the deficit down to three points at 30-27 going into the halftime break.

But the second half started much like the first.

Jasinski, Johnson, Grey Williams and Will O’Dell all scored for the Eagles in the third quarter to total 15 points, while the defense got back to what worked in the first quarter, limiting Chelsea to 11 in the period.

That allowed Oak Mountain to carry a 45-38 advantage into the final frame.

Chelsea, however, followed suit and responded in the fourth quarter with another big quarter.

Showing their resiliency, the Hornets got 13 points from Collett in the period as he tried to will the team to victory. Avery Futch, Whetstone and Aiden Owens all joined in on the scoring to help the team total 19 points in the quarter in an attempt to chase down the Eagles.

As with any close game, free throws then became key, and Oak Mountain handled the clutch shots perfectly.

The Eagles went 9-11 from the free throw line down the stretch to put together a 16-point quarter to hold on for a 61-57 victory.

Jasinski led the way for the Eagles with 20 points with Johnson finishing one point behind at 19 points. Williams added 10 points in the win.

Chelsea was led by a game-high 24 points from Collett, while Whetstone finished with 14.