After three quarters of play, the North Douglas boys looked like a team that couldn’t be stopped.
On the road against an undefeated Oakland side that came into the game averaging 69 points, it was the Warriors holding a 30-29 lead and all the momentum. But at the Nut House, it didn’t last as the Oakers took back control of the game as they put together a dominant fourth quarter to win 52-37.
“Everything that we did in the game minus the fourth quarter was fantastic,” said North Douglas head coach Tyler Vancil.
To start that fateful fourth quarter, Oakland went on a 19-2 run to take over the game. Intensified defensive pressure was paired with offensive contributions from six different Oakland players which helped the team roll to a win.
“We went on some runs where we played pretty decent offensively and then let down defensively. We went on some runs where we played pretty good defensively and then took some bad shots on offense,” said Oakland head coach Jeff Clark. “So really, the message [going into the fourth] was let’s put it all together… We’re going to have to take it so let’s go out there and play. I thought we really started the quarter strong and did a lot of good things.”
With turnovers and missed layups, the Warriors were unable to recover.
“Fourth quarter they made a run and we couldn’t sustain the run that they made,” said Vancil.
Oakland was led by Colton Brownson and Austin Madden who each finished with 12 points. Jacob Brooksby had 10 points for the Oakers.
Before Oakland ran away with the game, the contest had been close throughout. Tied after one quarter, the Oakers had a five point lead heading into halftime. But in the third quarter it was the North Douglas defense coming alive for what Vancil believes is the best the team has looked on that side of the ball this season.
“I just think they were working hard. They were outworking Oakland. That’s what they were doing and that’s why we made the push in the third quarter,” said Vancil. “…our goal at halftime was to win the third quarter. I don’t care if it’s one point, two points, three points, 40, let’s win the third quarter. That was our goal and we did.”
Leading the way for the Warriors in was Caleb Parks who continuously got to the rim and had 10 of his 14 points in the quarter. North Douglas’ next highest scorer on the game was Killian Bond with eight points.
“They came out for three quarters, this is a tough place to play, the crowd is loud, it’s hot in here, it’s a tough place to play. So I said, you’ve got to come out, be ready to go, play great defense and they did everything I asked them to do,” said Vancil.
The Warriors will next see action Dec. 27 at the McKenzie Hoops Classic.