Oak Hall Dominated by St. Joseph’s Academy in District Championship

An impressive season for the Oak Hall Eagles ended in less-than-ideal fashion. On Friday night, they suffered an ugly 52-14 loss against the St. Joseph’s Academy Flashes in the 2A District 4 championship. Andrew Powell led the Eagles with 10 points.

Struggles with St. Joseph’s Physicality

Eagles sophomore Andrew Powell passes out of a double-team from the Flashes.

The Eagles entered Friday’s championship matchup following a big win against the University Christian Fighting Christians. Coming off their 49-47 victory in the semifinals, the Eagles hoped to use their momentum to power a strong game against the top-seeded Flashes. Unfortunately, the Eagles struggled on offense from the opening tipoff. The team only scored five points in the first quarter, but they made up for it with strong defense during that period. The Flashes only scored nine points in the quarter.

With the Eagles only trailing by four at the start of the second quarter, the team hoped to revive their offense to keep the game competitive. However, the Flashes quickly took over after the break. The Eagles struggled to keep up inside the paint and ended up allowing 22 points in the second quarter. Their offensive woes continued as well. The team had a hard time converting on their shots due to the Flashes aggressive defensive style.

By halftime, the Eagles trailed 31-12. They were running out of energy to keep up with the Flashes. St. Joseph’s size advantage allowed them to dominate on both ends of the floor, while Oak Hall was unable to match their physicality. As the Flashes continued to tire the Eagles out, the game became more of a mismatch.

“[Their size advantage] isn’t really an excuse, but we weren’t really able to stop it,” Powell said. “It really caused us to lose energy, and then they gained momentum. Once that happened, it just went downhill from there.” 

A Hard-to-Watch Second Half

Things just only worsened for the Eagles after the first half. The Flashes slowed down their tempo on offense but kept playing hard with their resilient style of defense. As a result, the Eagles failed to score at all during the third quarter, only cementing the Flashes’ dominant performance.

The fourth quarter was not much better for the Eagles. Their only points during that period came from two late-game free throws from senior Ty Raulerson. After the game, Eagles Head Coach Monte Towe commended St. Joseph’s Academy and acknowledged that the Flashes simply played a better game than the Eagles. 

“We didn’t have the gas in us tonight that we had our last couple games,” Towe said.  “But [we] give them credit, they did a good job and they beat us rather handily.”

Reflecting on a Breakout Year

Following the Eagles loss in the district championship, the Florida High School Athletic Association released the Class 2A State Tournament Bracket. Oak Hall missed the cutoff, thus marking Friday night as their final game of the season. While their season did not end the way they planned, the team still had a very productive year. The Eagles finished the 2021-22 season with a record of 14 wins and 7 losses. With four of the team’s five starters returning next season, they will hope to build on their success from this year moving forward. For now, the team is proud of what they were able to do this season, both on and off the court.

“It was just so fun to have such a great team and be friends with everybody,” Powell said. “And it’s so awesome to know that we were able to get a really good, solid winning record.”

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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