Kester’s 30 helps Oak Mountain pull away late to beat Helena in regular season finale

Published 6:25 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Oak Mountain Eagles finished off the regular season on a positive note with a 53-32 win over the Helena Huskies on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Oak Mountain High School.

Prior to the game, the Eagles recognized their graduating seniors Raegan Whitaker and Ella Holt ahead of their last home game at Oak Mountain.

When the game started, the teams battled it out in the first quarter as only a few points separated them.

Caroline Kester took over the game for Oak Mountain by scoring nine of her team’s 11 points in the first quarter, which gave her team the 11-10 lead after the first quarter.

She kept the scoring going in the second quarter with a pair of three-pointers to add eight more points to her first half total.

Elizabeth Butler added four points off a pair of baskets as the Eagles scored 16 points in the second.

While Helena’s offense kept going with five points from Isabel Heintz and four points from Amari Grant, Oak Mountain took a 27-22 lead into halftime.

However, from there, the Eagles defense locked down and helped Oak Mountain secure the win.

The Eagles allowed just six points in the third quarter and only one field goal.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the floor, Kester led the way in scoring once again with five points in the third while Whitaker scored four more points on her senior night.

It was the same story in the fourth quarter, with Oak Mountain’s defense surrendering just four points in the final eight minutes, Whitaker scoring six more points to get into double-figures and Kester making a pair of threes and scoring eight points to cap off a 30-point night.

The Eagles’ 15 fourth-quarter points helped finish off the 21-point win over Helena to close out their home slate for the season.

In addition to Kester’s 30-point performance, Whitaker scored 12 points for Oak Mountain.

Grant and Heintz led Helena with nine points apiece and Mallory Rhodes scored eight points.