No. 1 White Oak Boys Cruise Past Rival Spring Hill + Lady Panthers Down Ladynecks
WHITE OAK — Behind the hot shooting of Skylar Sutton and patented Roughneck defense, White Oak throttled rival Spring Hill 78-44 at E.B Carrington Gymnasium on Tuesday.
White Oak (2-0), which is ranked No. 1 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 2A poll, forced 22 Spring Hill turnovers, with point guard Kris Anderson nabbing a team-high seven steals. Sutton finished with a game-high 21 points, including six three-pointers, plus four rebounds and three steals.
White Oak 6-foot-7 senior Levi Yancy added 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. White Oak was at full strength for the first time, getting the rest of its squad from a Class 2A Division I Region III area finalist football team this week.
“The two things I was pleased with was our effort. I thought we really got after it defensively, particularly in the first half,” said White Oak coach Ron Boyett. “Secondly, we had nine guys that contributed. We talked about roles yesterday. To the best of their abliity, I felt like they played within their roles. We walked through some stuff yesterday, and worked out for about an hour and 10 minutes today. We still haven’t had a full-scale practice yet.”
After playing to a 10-10 tie after one quarter, White Oak erupted for 24 second-quarter points behind an early 7-2 run. When Spring Hill’s (4-1) Ben Brundrett picked up his third foul with 4:13 left in the half, White Oak went straight to the paint with Anderson’s dribble drives. His assist on a Josh Benson three-pointer pushed the lead to 27-14. Anderson’s six points and three steals helped the Roughnecks gain some separation as White Oak went into halftime ahed 34-20.
Anderson tallied 13 points and three assists on the night.
“I thought the emotion early helped us defensively, but I thought it killed us offensively,” said Boyett. “Once we settled down, we started making some shots. We preach all the time, as long as we guard and rebound, that’ll keep you in the game.”
Sutton started the second half with two quick three-pointers for a 40-20 lead. Class 3A’s No. 21-ranked Panthers couldn’t get closer. White Oak led 54-28 after the third, thanks in part to Hayden Nichols’ six points and four rebounds.
Spring Hill’s Adam Lattier had eight points and six rebounds led Spring Hill, while Kendon Womack contributed 10 points. Brundrett had eight points and five boards. Matt Williams added seven points and five rebounds.
“We allowed them to score in the paint and they got second shots,” said Spring Hill coach Hunter Taylor, who is a White Oak alumnus and played for Boyett. “You got to block out and you got to defend. That’s the name of the game. The thing I did like was that it’s early enough that we’ve got guys that are hungry and humble and we can get this fixed.”
White Oak faces Rusk on Thursday in the DQ Van Invitational, while Spring Hill travels to Lindale for the Hoop Heaven Tournament to face Lufkin Hudson on Thursday.
Spring Hill girls down White Oak, 58-48
WHITE OAK — The Spring Hill Lady Panthers used a strong second-half to defeat the White Oak Ladynecks 58-48 at E.B. Carrington Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
“We can full-court press, we can half-court press, or we can drop back to man-to-man defense,” said Spring Hill coach Bobby Rush. “Our girls don’t get rattled, they adjust.”
Guard Audrey Popelar had 16 points, including four three-pointers, to lead Spring Hill (3-3). Leslie Blevins and Madison Martin combined for 22 points and 14 rebounds in the Lady Panthers’ triumph. Blevins’ five steals aided the defensive attack.
“(Blevins) is the heart and soul of this team,” Rush said. “Senior leadership, everyone looks up to her. As Leslie goes, we will go.”
Guard Makenzie Goll led White Oak (1-2) with a game-high 22 points and four rebounds.
Spring Hill opened the game on a 7-0 run, backed by Blevins’ four points. White Oak narrowed the margin to 12-9 after the first period. White Oak took a 27-25 advantage into the half behind Goll’s seven points and Whitney Simmons’ four.
“(First half) was the first time we had been pressured,” said White Oak coach Desiree Hutchins-Boyett. “I think we settled down and punched back in that first half. In the second half, we weren’t being physical enough. When we face bigger people, we’re just lightweights.”
The second half is where Spring Hill pulled away, using the size advantage, and forcing the ball in the paint. Spring Hill outscored White Oak 17-6 in the third period, then cemented the victory with a 6-0 run to start the fourth.
Spring Hill hosts Pleasant Grove on Thursday in the Spring Hill tournament, while White Oak takes on host Troup at the Troup tournament.