WALES — There were no ball hogs on the Oak Hill boys’ basketball team even though all of the Raiders wanted a piece of the action on Thursday night.

The Raiders’ unselfishness explains why they can shovel the ball up and down the court — sometimes without impunity — and also allows them to make things happen on defense.

Oak Hill (1-1) ran the table and backed off the tenacious Mt. Abram Roadrunners (3-1) to collect an 80-61 victory.

“This is probably one of the quickest teams I have every had in the nine years I have been here,” Oak Hill coach Tom Smith said. “They are unselfish. It is a true team. They are very unselfish.

“Gavin (Rawstron) runs the show and he distributes it and he can take it himself, too. So I feel comfortable. We went all 13 tonight,” Smith said. “We’ve been working on (defensive intensity) in practice and they just kept it up the whole game. They didn’t let down. Even the guys that came in, they did what they need to do. They understand their role and they are all fine with that. It was just a great win.”  

But it was the second half where the Raiders really shined and took the Roadrunners to task. Oak Hill began slipping away from Mt. Abram in the third quarter and wrapped it up in the fourth.

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The Raiders’ passing was outstanding, especially when they went on a run in the third quarter. That third-quarter tear set the stage for the Oak Hill to pile up another 22 points in the final stanza.

Junior guard Gavin Rawstron threw in the team-high 17 points and was followed by sophomore guard Ramon Spearman’s 13 points. Sophomore guard Caden Thompson and forward Liam Rodrigue each dropped in 11 and senior forward Justin Aldridge added 10 points.

It was solemn opening before the game. Fans were asked to offer a moment of silence for beloved football coach Stacen Doucette, who passed away Monday morning.

“It has been a tough week for these kids and they have responded tremendously,” Smith said. “So proud of them. These kids have been through a lot right now. They wanted this one for the coach.”

The Raiders led all four quarters, but Mt. Abram still kept pace with Oak Hill in the first half. By halftime, Oak Hill led 38-30, but the Raiders also knew the Roadrunners had no intention of slowing down.

“That’s a good ball club,” Smith said. “They were 3-0 for a reason. I am not taking anything away from them. We just put defensive intensity on them, and that’s what I have been preaching, and these guys are starting to pick it up.”

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Junior forward Thomas Deckard-Madore collected 21 points to earn him the game’s leading scorer for Mt. Abram. Relentless junior guard Hunter Warren threw in 14 points.

“Oak Hill, you’ve got to give them all the credit,” Mt. Abram coach Dustin Zamboni said. “They came out and can really run. They have No. 30 there (Spearman). He got after it on the offensive glass, went after it in transition, and we just didn’t step up to guard him when should have.

“We had some good offense at times. I think we were a little sticky,” he added. “They put enough defensive pressure on us to make us really battle to get to the rim, which we did. We took it strong, but we couldn’t quite finish.”

 

 

 

Ramon Spearman of Oak Hill shoots over Nathan Luce of Mt. Abram during the first half in Wales on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Nathan Luce of Mt. Abram drives the baseline while being defended by Alex Fournier of Oak Hill during the second half in Wales on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Gavin Rawstron of Oak Hill High School goes up for a shot between Wyatt Siemenski, left, and Nathan Luce of Mt. Abram during the second half in Wales on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Members of the Oak Hill High School basketball team and referee Skip Capone take a moment of silence before Thursday’s game for Oak Hill football coach Stacen Doucette, who died on Monday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Liam Rodrigue of Oak Hill High School grabs a pass during the first quarter against Mt. Abram on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Nathan Luce of Mt. Abram High School drives to the basket during Thursday’s game against Oak Hill High School in Wales. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Kenyon Pillsbury of Mt. Abram High School drives on D’Andre Daniels of Oak Hill during the first half in Wales on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Tiger Hopkins, right, of Oak Hill High School and Wyatt Siemenski of Mt. Abram reach for a passed ball during the second half in Wales on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The Mt. Abram bench encourages the Roadrunners during Thursday’s game at Oak Hill High School. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

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