Oak Hills and Lakota East met for the first time this season on Tuesday night in a matchup that featured the top two teams in the GMC, both entering the evening with a perfect 5-0 league record. Mike Price and Clint Adkins are two of the best in the GMC at having their teams prepared, and Tuesday night was no different for both coaches.
Oak Hills came into the game without their big man, Jacob Ramstetter, and were essentially looking at running the entire game with a six man rotation. Lakota East opened the game on a 5-0 run and clearly wanted to set the pace of the game with the size mismatch against an undersized Oak Hills team with a limited bench.
Oak Hills continued to trail for the entire first half, as Lakota East had a halftime lead of 26-21. Oak Hills held their own defensively the first half limiting Nate Johnson, the third leading scorer in the GMC to only 6 points at the break. A large part of Oak Hills keeping the game close at halftime was the two man duo of Austin Dennis and Kelen Dietrich who went to the break with 10 points and 7 points respectively.
In a tightly contested first half, and with two of the best coaches in the GMC going head-to-head, the chess match continued in the second half with in-game adjustments being made by each coach. The third quarter was much of the same for Lakota East trying to attack the paint and expose the mismatch in size. Mike Price had his team well prepared coming out of the break and continued to contain the duo of Nate Johnson and Alex Mangold fairly well and entered the fourth quarter trailing by only 5 points by the score of 34-29.
Starting the fourth quarter Oak Hills came out and for much of the fourth quarter ran a tough, hard-nosed, full court press in hopes of forcing turnovers and fighting back into the game. Their relentless effort on the defensive side of the ball did just that. Oak Hills climbed back into the game and tied the ballgame at 44 with just over a minute to remain in the game. Coming out of a timeout, Kelen Dietrich drove the ball to the basket and drew a double team, but was able to find open teammate Adonis Caneris for a corner three for his only three points of the game, but without a doubt the biggest three points of the game. That three pointer gave Oak Hills their first lead of the game by the score of 47-44 with one minute remaining in the game and they never looked back. Lakota East had a missed shot on the following possession and the final 42 seconds of the game turned into fouls to try and come from behind. Oak Hills would end up winning by the final score of 53-46.
Austin Dennis turned in his best game of the season up to this point as he finished with a game high 22 points and also added 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Teammate Kelen Dietrich also added 20 points of his own in addition to 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
The victory for Oak Hills improves their first place record in the GMC to 6-0 overall and their overall record to 8-2. Lakota East drops to 5-1 in the GMC with an overall record of 9-2.