Exactly one week ago both Oak Grove basketball teams dominated Petal, defending home-court. Tonight, as boys head coach LaRon Brumfield told his team before tip-off, "They are going to come out here to try and punch you in the mouth," Petal gave them their best shot to try and defend home turf. However, that shot was not hard enough as the Lady Warriors defeated the Lady Panthers 33-30 and the Oak Grove boys defeated the Petal boys 55-43.
Lady Panthers fight valiantly but fall to Lady Warriors
Down 9-1 after the first period, it looked as though it would be another dominating win for the Lady Warriors, but a strong second half brought Petal close to the win.
Seniors Jada Tatum and Shakiya Bolton scored the first period’s nine points for Oak Grove with Bolton hitting a three-point shot on her first make of the evening. In the second period, Nhariya McDonald and Kennidi Dean scored the Warriors only points while Myesha Richardson and Mackenzie Thomas scored for Petal to bring the score to 14-5 in favor of Oak Grove at the half.
Oak Grove led by as much 10 in the third period after Dean connected on a three to give them a 19-9 lead. Petal cut the lead to eight before the period’s end as Latoyia Clark, Mackenzie Thomas, and Richardson hit baskets.
Petal closed the gap in the final period as Richardson and Thomas brought the Panthers within one with just 2:45 remaining. Tatum and Dean would be forced to the foul line and they delivered as they sank free throws to give the Warriors a cushion and ultimately the 33-30 win.
Oak Grove moves to 11-6 (3-1) on the season and will host Hattiesburg Tuesday night. Petal falls to 5-14 (1-3) and will head to Meridian next Friday.
Oak Grove out-duels Petal with the three-point shot after a slow start
Similarly to last week, Petal put the first points on the board as Caleb McGill scored the opening basket, but just as similar, Oak Grove answered quickly with two baskets of their own as Tyrus Crump scored the Warriors opening five points to give them a lead that they would hold onto until the second period. McGill led Petal as he scored 9 of Petal’s 11 first period points. Petal still trailed by one as Jay Barnes and Juan Sumner both connected with threes giving Oak Grove a 12-11 lead.
Petal saw their first lead of the evening in the second period when Treylan Smith found the basket on a three-point shot to tie things up 16-16. Oak Grove’s Dylan Brumfield was sent to the foul line and made one of his two shots, however, Smith was sent to the foul line and made both attempts to give them their first lead 18-17.
Oak Grove finished off the period with a 6-0 run that included a Barnes three-point buzzer-beater to give the Warriors a 23-18 lead at the half.
“They did a good job of slowing us down. We’ve been working on executing. We like to run fast, but we want to execute offensively too. I still liked our chances because we were able to run fast in a half-court set on offense,” said Brumfield about the slower start for his team in the first half.
Oak Grove turned up the heat in the third quarter as Brumfield connected on three three-point attempts Rahmil Thompson also found the basket on a three-point try to help extend the Warriors lead to 43-30 as the third period closed.
In the fourth period, Barnes took over, scoring eight points in the final period to close out the game and giving the Warriors their 15th win on the season.
“Hats off to Petal. After last week an average team would’ve folded. I told the guys to get ready because they would try to punch us in the mouth. We had to be ready and accept that challenge. That’s what happened and they played a heck of a ball game,” said Brumfield after the game.
Petal falls to 11-4 (1-3) and will square off with Callaway next while Oak Grove moves to 15-1 (4-0) and hosts Hattiesburg next.