By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
When you only shoot 10 percent from 3, it helps to have a roster filled with fast, athletic players who can score in other ways.
Oak Hill (Va.) Academy used a deadly transition attack and withstood a Webster Groves second-half rally to prevail 73-62 Friday night in a Tournament of Champions semifinal matchup.
Warriors 6’7” senior wing Keldon Johnson had 23 points, tying for the game high. A balanced Oak Hill team also got 18 points from Will Richardson, 11 points and 15 rebounds from David McCormack, and 12 points from Keyontae Johnson.
“(Webster Groves) had a hard time with Dave (McCormack) and Keldon (Johnson) inside, and Keyontae,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith. “Those are tough matchups for them.”
Oak Hill faces La Lumiere (Ind.) in the tournament title game at 9 p.m. Saturday at JQH Arena.
Courtney Ramey had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists on 5-for-16 shooting for the Statesmen (7-5 overall). He made 11 of 15 free throw attempts.
Teammate Carte’Are Gordon added 18 points and six rebounds on 8-for-16 shooting.
“I thought we did a good job (on Ramey and Gordon),” Smith said. “Ramey drew a lot of fouls. He struggled from the floor, but he shot a lot of free throws. Their big kid played well.”
Oak Hill shot 28-for-52 from the field overall and out-rebounded Webster Groves 35-24. The Warriors also had 16 fastbreak points and 14 second-chance points.
“Defensive transitioned kill us,” said Webster Groves coach Jay Blossom. “I’m really proud of how we played other than that. When they faced us in the half-court, we gave ourselves a fighter’s chance to defend.”
Webster Groves, ranked No. 2 in Class 5 in the latest MBCA/MOsports.com state rankings, cut a 14-point halftime deficit down to 10 entering the fourth quarter. The defending Class 5 state champions got within 55-49 on a Gordon jumper early in the period, then 60-55 on a Ramey 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining.
Oak Hill used a modest 9-2 run to put the game out of reach.
Oak Hill’s transition game helped it overcome a 1-for-10 output on 3-pointers. The Warriors jumped out to an early 28-10 lead.
“If we would’ve got back (in transition) early, I don’t know, it could’ve been interesting,” Blossom said.
Oak Hill won the Tournament of Champions in 2015 and 2016. The Warriors are now 8-0 all time in the event.
Saturday’s title game features a clash of talented big men as McCormack faces La Lumiere junior Isaiah Stewart, who went for 35 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) on Saturday.
“It’s a good matchup because they have a big (Isaiah Stewart), so he’ll matchup with McCormack,” Smith said. “I think we match up well on the perimeter. I think (our) two Johnsons are tough to guard, so that might give us a slight advantage there.”
Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 73, Webster Groves 62
Oak Hill 18 18 15 21 — 73
Webster Groves 7 17 17 21 — 62
Oak Hill – Keldon Johnon 23, Will Richardson 18, Keyontae Johnson 12, David McCormack 11, Eddy Kayouloud 7, Evan Johnson 2
Webster Groves – Courtney Ramey 23, Carte’Are Gordon 18, Amorey Womack 8, R.J. Wright 7, Ray Adams 3, Jacobie Banks 3