Father Lopez senior guards James Coburn (22 points) and Lex Delgado (16 points) put on a show Monday night, combining for 38 points to send home standing Oak Hall down to defeat 56-42 in the first round of the district playoffs.
Forty seconds remained. Oak Hall’s senior forward Colin Ponton took his final steps to the sideline. The visiting Father Lopez Green Wave, who traveled over 100 miles from Daytona Beach, held a 16 point lead. The bleachers at Oak Hall’s Oxburough Gym remained packed with garnet and gold. With the final boozer looming, the Eagles’ faithful were given a final chance to applaud.
With the realization setting in that Oak Hall’s season was soon coming to an end, head coach Monte Towe called a final timeout, allowing his team’s lone senior to be checked out. Colin Ponton had laid his heart out on the court, one final time. An ovation from the crowd, as Ponton made his way to the bench and proceeded to put a towel over his head. At that moment, his high school basketball career had ended. Ponton finished with 15 points. However, his valiant effort was not enough to prevail.
It was all about the three-ball for Father Lopez, as they hit 10 3’s for the game, including five in the first quarter. James Coburn and Delgado, came out firing and sustained it as the two hit eight of the Green Wave’s 10 threes. The two were just four points shy of out-scoring the Eagles all together.
A Bright Future
For Oak Hall, their season comes to a disappointing and abrupt end. Yet there is no reason to hang their heads. This season was a staunch improvement from last year’s, building from 12-11 finish, increasing their win total by three. While Ponton is a big loss, the team retains every other starter, including leading scorer junior Cole Gonzales. There is still much to look forward to in years to come for the Eagles of Oak Hall School.
Father Lopez will travel to Trinity Catholic in Ocala this Wednesday to take on PK Yonge in the second round of Class 3A District 3 playoffs. The winner of that tilt will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between Interlachen and Ocala Saint Lutheran Academy.
Oak Hall meanwhile will begin lacrosse season on February 19th at Jacksonville Episcopal. Eagles’ baseball has their first game on February 25th at home against Wildwood. WRUF.com will provide coverage for those games, and all high school sports in the Gainesville area.