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Tip-Off at Oak Hall High School on Friday Jan. 18th, 2019.

Oak Hall Wins Overtime Thriller 59-55

Oak Hall boys basketball won their tournament semi-final game versus St. John’s Country Day, 59-55 in Overtime. St. Johns Country Day beat Oak Hall back on January 11th, 67-64; so this one was expected to go down to the wire from the get-go.

Freshman forward Cole Gonzales of Oak Hall led all scorers with 21, including 8 in the 4th quarter and overtime to seal the deal for the Eagles.

Oak Hall now advances to face the 11-4 Aucilla Christian Warriors in tournament finals on Saturday, January 20th.

Hot from the start.

Solid ball movement led by senior point guard Michael Holloway II led to open looks early. The Eagles hit 4 three-pointers to jump out to a 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. The utilization of the zone defense by Oak Hall helped to suffocate the Spartan offense, causing multiple turnovers in the first quarter. Points off of turnovers for the Eagles played a major role early in the game.

St. Johns Country Day wasn’t going to go down without a fight, picking up their offense in the second quarter by scoring 12 points and closing the Oak Hall lead each quarter. With 5 second half threes, Micah Gouin helped rally the St. Johns Country Day Spartans back into the game late. The Spartans tied the game at 47-47 with 2:30 left in the 4th, which was the first time Oak Hall wasn’t leading all game.

Overtime at Oak Hall

Gouin made 2 threes at the beginning of overtime to pull the Spartans ahead early, but the Eagles stayed composed. The Eagles were able to get back into the ball movement flow that they thrived on in the first half late in overtime, overcoming their deficit and eventually pulling ahead.

In overtime, it was ultimately the playcalling and coaching of Oak Hall head coach Monty Towe which decided this game. Oak Hall executed down the stretch, scoring 10 points in overtime and forcing turnovers. The free throw shooting from Oak Hall in overtime helped to put this one away late, making 6/9 free throws.

Clutch performance.

Junior forward Collin Ponton made the game-clinching rebound with 8 seconds left in overtime to give the Eagles 2 more free throws. Collin made 1 of 2 free throws, which put the Eagles ahead by 3. Oak Hall would ultimately win by 4 points, 59-55.

Consistency has been an issue for this team all season, but the solid play down the stretch for the Eagles showed growth in their young group. With this win, the Oak Hall boys basketball team sits at 7 wins and 8 losses on the season.

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