By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Despite a poor-shooting first half in which they committed 11 turnovers, the Bluefield Beavers rode a strong defensive effort and a second half offensive explosion to defeat the Oak Hill Red Devils 75-29, Saturday night in the final game of the Bluefield Invitational at the Brushfork Armory.
Bluefield defeated Mount View on Friday 91-21, and won the two games in the Bluefield Invitational by 116 points.
Sluggish would be an adequate term to describe the Bluefield offense in the early going. The Beavers ran out to a 6-0 lead, then expanded it to 12-4 before Oak Hill took advantage of Bluefield turnovers and reeled off six unanswered to pull to within two. The Beavers responded and Matthew Woodrum’s bucket at the buzzer gave Bluefield a 17-10 lead at the end of the first period.
With the offense still sputtering, the Bluefield defense took control before slowly the offense began dropping shots and pulled further away from Oak Hill. The Red Devils scored only five points in the second quarter and Bluefield, behind three baskets from Eades, managed to take a 29-15 lead at halftime.
“By all means we were very sluggish the first half,” said BHS head coach Buster Large. “Turnovers, the most we’ve had this year, probably the most since the middle of last season, but a lot of factors led to that.
“They (Oak Hill) are pretty quick, they match up well with us, but good teams make adjustments at halftime and we made adjustments and came out and got a lot better flow in the game the second half. Many people forget that just two years ago Oak Hill was the defending Class AA champion two years in a row.”
After halftime adjustments the Bluefield offense hit high gear in the third quarter scoring 22 points in the period. Eades dropped in two treys and a basket, Michael Yost added a three as did Azir Price who also added a deuce, giving the Beavers a 51-27 lead headed into the final eight minutes.
After playing about two minutes of the final period, Bluefield turned to its bench which continued to produce on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. Jordan Ponder and Jordan Huckleberry each scored seven in the quarter while the Beaver defense held Oak Hill to one basket and two total points in the fourth stanza. Only one night earlier Oak Hill drilled 12 three point shots against PikeView, but against Bluefield the Red Devils managed only two baskets from behind the curved line, both coming late in the third quarter.
“We work at it (defense) and know we’re going to be in some games this year where our defense is going to have to win for us,” Large commented.
“They (reserves) did a real good job. Azir Price, Jordan Ponder, Jordan Huckleberry and that’s a part of our scheme. We’re trying to get not only our starters to play hard, but the second five playing as hard so that when they come in we don’t lose a whole lot. I am very pleased with the way our subbing is working right now.”
Eades led Bluefield and all scorers with 22 points and Lykel Collier added 11. Oak Hill’s top scorer was Josh Jones with six.
The Beavers, now 4-0, are off until Saturday, Dec. 28 when they host Scott at the Brushfork Armory in a 2 p.m. contest.
At Brushfork Armory
OAK HILL (2-2)
Jalen Jones 3 0-1 6, K.K. Goodman 2 2-4 6, Deonte Scruggs 0 0-3 0, Josh Jones 3 2-2 9, Paul Walton 0 0-0 0, Marc Logan 0 0-0 0, Joey Re 0 3-4 3, Ian Hunt 1 0-1 2, Quenton Tranham 1 0-0 3, Antonio Gray 0 0-0 0, Totals 10 7-16 29.
Dakoda Smalls 0 0-0 0, D.J. Edwards 3 0-0 6, Anthony Eades 8 4-4 22, Lykel Collier 3 4-4 11, Omar Logan 0 0-0 0, Michael Yost 1 2-2 5, Jordan Ponder 3 0-0 7, Azir Price 2 0-0 5, Corey Coppola 3 0-2 6, Matthew Woodrum 2 0-0 4, Jordan Masterson 1 0-0 2, Jordan Huckleberry 3 1-1 7, Totals 29 11-13 75.
Oak Hill............................10 5 12 2 — 29
Bluefield...........................17 12 22 24 — 75
3-point goals: OH - 2 (Jo. Jones, Tranham); B - 6 (Eades 2, Collier, Yost, Ponder, Price). Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: B - Woodrum.