Hattiesburg edges out Oak Grove 69-67 to win crosstown rivalry

By ANDREW ABADIE,

OAK GROVE – The phrase ‘getting your money’s worth’ was a regular term for both Hattiesburg and Oak Grove fans and coaches after Tuesday’s night game between the cross-town rivals. 

 

In a game that featured, constant momentum shifts, major blocks, high end 3-point shooting, physical play in the paint, it was.no better way for Hattiesburg to pull ahead with the 69-67 win over Oak Grove than in the final 10 seconds of the game. 

 

After taking hold of the lead at 67-66, the fate of the game was put in Hattiesburg’s leading scorer Cameron Brown. 

 

“Coach told me that the ball needed to be in my hands and that I needed to make a play,” Brown said. “In my head I thought that’s what I’m going to do. We fought through it. The least I could do for my team is put us up to win the game.”

 

With under four seconds left, Brown took a side dribble and nailed a 3-pointer that gave Hattiesburg the go-ahead lead with three seconds left in front of the standing room only crowd that arguably earned its money’s worth in that moment. 

 

“It was a really aggressive game,” Brown said. “Rival games are always fun. I knew it was going to kind of be like this but my team fought it out.”

 

For Hattiesburg head coach Ernie Watson, it was a no-brainer to put the ball in Brown’s hands. 

 

“We had to go to the money player,” Watson said. “It’s got to be to the dandy dozen, it’s go to go to the best player on the team. If you are going to lose or win then we’ll win with him. They know that. 

 

“He had a heck of a game. We were just proud of his jump shot finally.”

 

According to Oak Grove head coach Laron Brumfield, the loss in the final 10 seconds was by no means something to look down on.  

 

“We have to go down and play defense,” Brumfield said. “We knew that they had a lot of weapons. We wanted to make them take a tough shot. We kind of gambled a little bit. We had to run out on the shooter. He made a good move and then made a good shot. That’s what players do. I can’t be mad at that if someone makes a good play on us.”

 

In what was a back-and-forth game from start to finish no team’s two score lead was ever safe. 

 

“I figured whoever was going to step up and start playing some defense would win the game,” Brumfield said. “I wouldn’t say no one played any defense but I think both teams were offensive juggernauts tonight. We were just really going at each other. It would be a matter of who could make enough plays down the stretch.” 

 

For Hattiesburg (17-5), the trio of Brown, Nick Walker and Christ Lewis combined for 57 of team’s points. Brown scored a team-high of 22 points, Walker posted 20 points while Lewis totaled 15 points. 

 

Oak Grove had its own triple-threat trio as Jay Barnes, Dylan Brumfield and Blake Roberts combined for 46 points. 

 

Hattiesburg’s main goal defensively was to keep Barnes in-check which proved to be successful as he was held scoreless in the entire second half. 

 

“Coach said if they beat us it will by those [other] four [players] since Jay beat us last time,” Brown said. “We had to keep the ball out of his hands and make the other team step up.” 

 

Both teams traded runs and erased six- and seven-point deficits as quickly as they became down. Oak Grove (15-2) managed to jump ahead 30-29 at halftime. 

 

With Hattiesburg leading 50-49 at the start of the fourth quarter, the key difference came down to free throws. In the quarter, Hattiesburg was 9-of-9 behind the line compared to Oak Grove shooting 3-of-4 in the quarter.

 

“We had been struggling with those all year long,” Watson said. “We lost to Gulfport on Saturday because of those free throws. I gave them a long Gospel church message to them about it.

 

“They went to work today. They really shot it well today and yesterday at practice.”

 

Despite Hattiesburg coming away with the win, for both coaches the night was about the atmosphere and excitement for both teams. 

 

“This is championship atmosphere,” Watson said. “This is not only what a city rivalry or a local rival it’s also the atmosphere of two good teams. They are ranked No. 1 in 6A and were in the top five in 5A that’s what you want. That’s what you paid your money for. 

 

“Like I said it was a great atmosphere. I’m glad for the city of Hattiesburg got to see this. Basketball is coming around here. You have two good teams. They are a great team. They will go a long way in the playoffs. I hope they win the whole thing.” 

 

Like Watson, Brumfield shared similar thoughts on the crowd and atmosphere.

 

“That’s a heck of a game,” Brumfield said. “We were proud of both teams’ effort. We hung in there. We fought hard just didn’t make the plays down the stretch and didn’t pull it out tonight. 

 

“That was a heck of team. Standing room only. You have two of the best teams in the state playing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in standing room only you have to be excited about that.”

 

Oak Grove will travel to George County on Friday while Hattiesburg will travel to Long Beach with both games set for 7:30 p.m. 

 

 

Hattiesburg 69, Oak Grove 67

At Oak Grove 

 

Hattiesburg (17-5) – Chris Lewis 5 5-6 15, Nick Walker 8 4-4 20, Cameron Brown 8 4-5 22, Emmanual Corley 0 0-0 0, Jayden Harrell 1 0-0 2, Alex Jordan 2 2-2 6, Malik Moore 0 0-0 0, Ivory Stallings 0 0-0 0, Jerry Burkett II 2 0-2 4. Field Goals: 26, Free Throws: 11-19, Total Points: 69

 

Oak Grove (15-2) – Jay Banes 4 5-8 15, Dylan Brumfield 4 3-5 16, Blake Roberts 5 3-4 15, Deon Hall 1 0-0 2, Juwan Sumner 1 1-2 3, Cornelius Williams 3 1-2 7, Dylan Jones 1 0-0 2, Tyrus Crump 3 0-0 7. Field Goals: 22, Free Throws: 13-21, Total Points: 67

 

HA       10        19        18        22        –          69        

OG       11        19        20        17        –          67

 

3-Pointers – HA 2 (Brown 2), OG 8 (Brumfield 3, Barnes 2, Roberts 2, Crump). Total Fouls: HA 21, OG 18. Fouled Out: None. 

OAK GROVE – The phrase ‘getting your money’s worth’ was a regular term for both Hattiesburg and Oak Grove coaches and fans after Tuesday’s night game between the cross-town rivals.

In a game that featured, constant momentum shifts, major blocks, high end 3-point shooting, physical play in the paint, it was.no better way for Hattiesburg to pull ahead with the 69-67 win over Oak Grove than in the final 10 seconds of the game.

After taking hold of the lead at 67-66, the fate of the game was put in Hattiesburg’s leading scorer Cameron Brown.

“Coach told me that the ball needed to be in my hands and that I needed to make a play,” Brown said. “In my head I thought that’s what I’m going to do. We fought through it. The least I could do for my team is put us up to win the game.”

With under four seconds left, Brown took a side dribble and nailed a 3-pointer that gave Hattiesburg the go-ahead lead with three seconds left in front of the standing room only crowd that arguably earned its money’s worth in that moment.

“It was a really aggressive game,” Brown said. “Rival games are always fun. I knew it was going to kind of be like this but my team fought it out.”

For Hattiesburg head coach Ernie Watson, it was a no-brainer to put the ball in Brown’s hands.

“We had to go to the money player,” Watson said. “It’s got to be to the dandy dozen, it’s go to go to the best player on the team. If you are going to lose or win then we’ll win with him. They know that.

“He had a heck of a game. We were just proud of his jump shot finally.”

According to Oak Grove head coach Laron Brumfield, the loss in the final 10 seconds was by no means something to look down on. 

“We have to go down and play defense,” Brumfield said. “We knew that they had a lot of weapons. We wanted to make them take a tough shot. We kind of gambled a little bit. We had to run out on the shooter. He made a good move and then made a good shot. That’s what players do. I can’t be mad at that if someone makes a good play on us.”

In what was a back-and-forth game from start to finish no team’s two score lead was ever safe.

“I figured whoever was going to step up and start playing some defense would win the game,” Brumfield said. “I wouldn’t say no one played any defense but I think both teams were offensive juggernauts tonight. We were just really going at each other. It would be a matter of who could make enough plays down the stretch.”

For Hattiesburg (17-5), the trio of Brown, Nick Walker and Christ Lewis combined for 57 of team’s points. Brown scored a team-high of 22 points, Walker posted 20 points while Lewis totaled 15 points.

Oak Grove had its own triple-threat trio as Jay Barnes, Dylan Brumfield and Blake Roberts combined for 46 points.

Hattiesburg’s main goal defensively was to keep Barnes in-check which proved to be successful as he was held scoreless in the entire second half.

“Coach said if they beat us it will by those [other] four [players] since Jay beat us last time,” Brown said. “We had to keep the ball out of his hands and make the other team step up.”

Both teams traded runs and erased six- and seven-point deficits as quickly as they became down. Oak Grove (15-2) managed to jump ahead 30-29 at halftime.

With Hattiesburg leading 50-49 at the start of the fourth quarter, the key difference came down to free throws. In the quarter, Hattiesburg was 9-of-9 behind the line compared to Oak Grove shooting 3-of-4 in the quarter.

“We had been struggling with those all year long,” Watson said. “We lost to Gulfport on Saturday because of those free throws. I gave them a long Gospel church message to them about it.

“They went to work today. They really shot it well today and yesterday at practice.”

Despite Hattiesburg coming away with the win, for both coaches the night was about the atmosphere and excitement for both teams.

“This is championship atmosphere,” Watson said. “This is not only what a city rivalry or a local rival it’s also the atmosphere of two good teams. They are ranked No. 1 in 6A and were in the top five in 5A that’s what you want. That’s what you paid your money for.

“Like I said it was a great atmosphere. I’m glad for the city of Hattiesburg got to see this. Basketball is coming around here. You have two good teams. They are a great team. They will go a long way in the playoffs. I hope they win the whole thing.”

Like Watson, Brumfield shared similar thoughts on the crowd and atmosphere.

“That’s a heck of a game,” Brumfield said. “We were proud of both teams’ effort. We hung in there. We fought hard just didn’t make the plays down the stretch and didn’t pull it out tonight.

“That was a heck of team. Standing room only. You have two of the best teams in the state playing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in standing room only you have to be excited about that.”

Oak Grove will travel to George County on Friday while Hattiesburg will travel to Long Beach with both games set for 7:30 p.m.

 

Link to full photo gallery: https://hubcityspokes.zenfolio.com/p460777793

 

Hattiesburg 69, Oak Grove 67

At Oak Grove

Hattiesburg (17-5) – Chris Lewis 5 5-6 15, Nick Walker 8 4-4 20, Cameron Brown 8 4-5 22, Emmanual Corley 0 0-0 0, Jayden Harrell 1 0-0 2, Alex Jordan 2 2-2 6, Malik Moore 0 0-0 0, Ivory Stallings 0 0-0 0, Jerry Burkett II 2 0-2 4. Field Goals: 26, Free Throws: 11-19, Total Points: 69

Oak Grove (15-2) – Jay Banes 4 5-8 15, Dylan Brumfield 4 3-5 16, Blake Roberts 5 3-4 15, Deon Hall 1 0-0 2, Juwan Sumner 1 1-2 3, Cornelius Williams 3 1-2 7, Dylan Jones 1 0-0 2, Tyrus Crump 3 0-0 7. Field Goals: 22, Free Throws: 13-21, Total Points: 67

HA 10 19 18 22  – 69

OG 11 19 20 17  – 67

3-Pointers – HA 2 (Brown 2), OG 8 (Brumfield 3, Barnes 2, Roberts 2, Crump). Total Fouls: HA 21, OG 18. Fouled Out: None.