Warriors, Lady Warriors win big over George CountyBy CAMAL PETRO,
HATTIESBURG – For the Oak Grove Warriors Tuesday night, it was a total team effort. There’s no other way to describe it.
The Warriors had 11 players score in an 81-53 win over the George County Rebels, and it wasn’t like Oak Grove used its reserves late in the game to get as many players as possible points, which Oak Grove coach LaRon Brumfield did. The Warriors had six players make shots by the end of the first quarter and eight by halftime.
“We always say we have to have a team effort, we have to play a lot of guys and we have to use our depth to our advantage, and tonight, we were able to do that,” Brumfield said. “We are very excited about being able to finally have that happen with a lot of players being able to contribute.”
With the win, Oak Grove moved to 10-7 overall and 1-1 in Region play. Tuesday’s win comes four days after a 54-38 loss to Meridian to open region play, and Brumfield said he used a few days of practice to ramp up his team’s intensity.
“We didn’t play hard at all at Meridian,” Brumfield said. “I don’t know if that would have changed the outcome because you never know, but we did not play hard at all. We had two tough days of coming out and getting our intensity level up, and it really paid off.
“I think we came out and played about as hard as we’ve played in a while.”
Oak Grove used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to create separation on George County, pushing the early lead to 16-6. By that point, five different Oak Grove players recorded baskets, but it was junior Brandon Tilley who led the team with eight points by the end of the first.
Oak Grove built a 21-11 by that point, too.
“I think our intensity levels were up, and I think when you play hard on defense, your offense just gets a little easier,” Brumfield said.
George County’s Cameron Hartfield started to catch fire to start the second, scoring back-to-back baskets to cut the Oak Grove lead to 23-15, but the Warriors put together another run to extend the lead.
Hartfield led the Rebels with a game-high 22 points.
With a 26-16 lead, a 9-0 run, which saw four different players contribute, made it a 35-16 game. Sophomore Blake Roberts and junior Kevin Kirksey nailed 3-pointers, then junior Markevion Harrell, junior Tate Ryder and Roberts added baskets to give Oak Grove a 49-33 lead at the break.
Ryder and Roberts led the Oak Grove offense with 13 points each.
“I’ve been waiting for it for a while,” Brumfield said of the guard duo. “I wouldn’t say they’ve been struggling, but it’s been hard finding their shot the last few games, especially against Meridian when they had guys who are about 6-4 and 6-5 running at you. That’ll kind of mess with your head a little bit, so we are excited they were able to come out and make some shots tonight.”
Oak Grove outscored George County 14-10 in the third quarter and 18-10 in the final eight minutes to keep the Rebels from getting close.
“With the 3-point line, you can’t let up,” Brumfield said. “If you let up, they make two or three 3s, they’re back in there so you have to keep playing hard for 32 minutes.”
Tilley added 12 points for Oak Grove, while senior Noah Harris and junior Jaylan Redmond scored nine points apiece.
Oak Grove girls 51, George County 27: It was smooth sailing from the get-go for the Lady Warriors, jumping out to a 21-2 lead by the end of the first quarter. Junior Alesha Tempe had the hot hand early, scoring six points in the opening frame to help Oak Grove close the quarter on a 17-0 run.
Junior Jazmin Grayson finished the first with five quick points, bringing her early total to seven.
George County broke the scoring drought with a free throw to start the second, but Oak Grove quickly pushed the lead to 31-5 midway through the quarter. The Lady Rebels scored five straight to help cut the Lady Warriors’ lead to 35-11 by halftime.
The Lady Warriors only scored 16 second-half points, but George County couldn’t overcome the 24-point first-half deficit.
Temple led the Lady Warriors with 12 points, Grayson added nine and sophomore Jada Tatum recorded eight points.
The Warriors and Lady Warriors will travel to Petal Friday for another region game. The girls get the night started at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7:30 p.m.