Oak Grove's Jay Barnes drops 42 in 88-53 win against Petal.

By JESSE JOHNSON,

It was the “Jay Barnes and Blake Roberts Show” Friday night when the two out scored Petal 60-53 on the way to a 88-53 trouncing home win over the Panthers.

Barnes nailed 12 three-pointers and 42 points overall to lead the Warriors. Roberts ended with 18 with 14 of those coming in the first half.

“Even though Jay had 40 plus points, we moved the ball and played very unselfish basketball,” said Oak Grove head coach LaRon Brumfield. “Once he got hot he started knocking everything down. I told the assistant coach I’m just going to let him do whatever he wants to do. He is making me look like a genius.”

Petal would strike first with the first two points on a breakaway dunk by Dandy Dozen star Traylan Smith. That would be the only lead of the game for Petal as Oak Grove grabbed all momentum and never looked back.

With 4:19 remaining in the first quarter, Jay Barnes started warming up with two three pointers when Oak Grove went on a 14-1 run to finish out the quarter.

The second quarter was much the same. An aggressive half court zone and unselfish basketball helped Oak Grove extend their lead. The Warriors had six different players score and they extended their lead to 46-19 at the half.

Petal would finally show signs of life in the start of the second half. Keeping the Warriors scoreless for almost four minutes, the Panthers would start the quarter with a 10-0 run. Roberts ended the run with a three pointer, beginning a three-point frenzy by the Warriors. Barnes would catch fire with 3:18 remaining in the quarter and hit three consecutive three pointers and added a layup to end the quarter with a 65-41 lead.

It was all Barnes in the fourth quarter. With 6:31 remaining in the game, the junior guard took the game over and hit three straight three pointers in consecutive possessions and sent the fans wild. Barnes ended up with five three pointers in the fourth quarter to bring the sharp shooter’s total to 42 points on the night.

“Once I knew I was hot, I knew coach had all faith in me,” said Barnes.  “He tells us be confident and go out there and play hard. If we are playing hard, he doesn’t mind if we take good-looking shots in rhythm. Our mindset moving forward is to stay focused. If we do, we will be holding the gold trophy at the end. That is our main goal.”

“Tonight’s game might be one of the best team performances I have had here at Oak Grove,” said Brumfield. “I told them to enjoy this tonight, but we have a long way to go.”

With the win, Oak Grove improved to 13-1 on the year and 2-0 in divisional play. The Panthers have now lost two straight and fell to 10-3 overall and 0-2 in divisional play.

The Warriors travel to No. 4 Meridian next Tuesday, Jan. 14 and a rematch with the Panthers three days later on Friday, Jan. 17.

The Panthers look to rebound with a road game against George County on Tuesday, Jan. 14 and will host Oak Grove next Friday.