PETAL – Holding just a two-point lead over Petal with just three seconds left before halftime, Oak Grove’s Jay Barnes came up with a steal and nailed a 3-point shot that gave the Warriors a 23-18 half time lead.
Barnes’ play both highlight the Warriors’ 3-point shooting and kickstarted a dominant second half that helped seal Oak Grove’s 55-43 win over Petal on Friday night.
“It shifted the momentum,” Barnes said. “Petal kind of had the momentum going into that play. Once that happened we stayed focused and continued to [play hard].”
We knew they were going to come out physical and more tougher the second time since we kind of embarrassed them last game (in an 88-53 loss. We knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, especially in their place. We had to come in with the mindset to stay focused and play hard.”
The two teams traded a physical and defensive first half which helped the Panthers take a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The physical play helped Petal’s Caleb McGill find early success in the paint as he scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half.
“He was able to have success in the first game like that,” Oak head coach LaRon Brumfield said. “We just weren’t stepping up. We were playing a little lazy that first half on defense. It showed in the second half because we started moving our feet and things of nature to do what we have got to do. He still played a heck of a game. That’s what you have got to do to good players. You can’t just let them beat you.”
Oak Grove found its success with three first-half 3-pointers and by reaching the free throw line 13 times in which the Warriors were 6-of-13 behind the line in the half.
Notably, the Warriors held the Panthers to just seven points in the second quarter which was due to Oak Grove finding an answer for McGill towards the end of the quarter.
However, for Petal head coach Todd Kimble, Oak Grove’s answer for McGill highlighted his team’s frustrations on offense.
“They started to double him and rotating which we had worked on,” Kimble said. “I have got guys standing and watching instead of doing what they are supposed to be doing. It comes down to execution. If you can’t execute against what a team does then you are not going to be very successful. We are making the same mistakes right now that we have made all year long. Our guys have got to figure out that if they don’t fix it then nothing is going to changing.
We are not executing offensively. Everything that [Oak Grove] did we had worked on. When we have got guys who aren’t doing their job on the court then we basically have a bunch of guys not being a team. We are not together right now. This time of year, you are supposed to be. We’re missing crucial block-outs at crucial times of the game. In transition defense, we are giving up baskets several times in the game. Things like that will kill you against a good team.”
Out of the half, Barnes and Dylan Brumfield broke the game open in the second half for the Warriors as the two combined for 21 second-half points. Brumfield knocked down three 3-pointers in the third quarter for the Warriors which helped Oak Grove outscore Petal 20-13 and take a 43-30 lead.
Barnes added eight points in the fourth quarter which helped put the game away for Oak Grove.
Barnes led Oak Grove with 19 points while Brumfield posted 14 points. For Petal, the Panthers were led McGill and Treylan Smith who had 16 points.
In total, the Warriors made nine 3-pointers on the night.
Despite the loss, Kimble gave credit to Oak Grove.
“Oak Grove, is in my opinion, I think is the best team in the state,” Kimble said. “As far as a team that plays together, they have guards that can shoot it. They have all the pieces.”
For Brumfield, the game itself was not as much as a statement for Oak Grove but rather for Pine Belt basketball.
“Anytime you win it feels good,” Brumfield said. “Hats off to Petal, after last week, the average team probably would have quit and come out here and folded. I told the guys, ‘You get ready to get punched in the mouth and that they are going to come out hard. We have to be ready and accept the challenge.’ That’s what happened. [Petal] played a heck of a ball game and that’s how it’s supposed to be. We both have been in the top10 in the state. It’s good for this area because this area doesn’t seem to get the credit for basketball. To have a top-10 matchup in the hub city.
It’s amazing. I’m excited that we had a good game. I’m hoping that both teams get better and that we both make runs in the playoffs.”
Oak Grove 55, Petal 43
Oak Grove (15-1, 4-0) – Jay Barnes 7 1-2 19, Dylan Brumfield 5 1-2 14, Blake Roberts 2 0-0 4, Cornelius Williams 2 0-0 4, Tyrus Crump 2 3-4 7, Deon Hall 0 1-2 1, Juwan Sumner 1 0-0 3, Rahmil Thompson 1 0-2 3. Field Goals: 20, Free Throws: 6-11, Total Points: 55
Petal (11-4, 1-3) – Caleb McGill 5 5-6 15, Trey Smith 5 3-4 16, Jamar Jenkins 4 0-0 10, Mitchell Guyse 0 0-0 0, Tristan Gatwood 0 0-0 0, Marcel Blackwell 1 0-2 2, Will Horne 0 0-0 0, Tyler Dailey 0 0-0 0, Jakalan Brown 0 0-0 0. Field Goals: 15, Free Throws: 8-12, Total Points: 43
OG 12 11 20 12 – 55
Petal 11 7 12 13 - 43
3-Point Totals – OG 9 (Barnes 4, Brumfield 3, Sumner, Thompson), Petal 5 (Smith 3, Jenkins 2). Total Fouls: Petal 16, OG 16. Fouled Out: None.