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Galax scored 54 points and lost by 58. The Maroon Tide was dunked on, pick-pocketed and generally woodshedded.
And the experience will be among the fondest of memories for a team that can also reminisce about having won a state championship.
Oak Hill Academy came as advertised and left its mark on an overflow crowd at the GHS gym, powering its way to a 112-54 win over the defending Division 1 state champs in a nondistrict game Thursday night.
For Galax, though, the goal wasn’t to hand the No. 1 prep team in the nation its first loss after 36 wins. It wasn’t even to hang within 30 points.
“The idea for us was to use this as teaching,” Galax coach Verl Brown said, “playing against some big guys, against a man-to-man, and [Oak Hill coach Steve Smith] did all that for us, and pressed us. At times I thought we looked good against the press and got to the basket. We had some shots blocked, but when you’re going up against that kind of power…”
‘That kind of power’ included Division 1 signees at all five starting positions and two more coming off the bench.
Galax handled it all well enough for the first 12 minutes, trailing by just seven points at the midway point of the second period. But eight points in three trips down the floor uncorked a 19-4 OHA run to the end of the half for a 53-31 Warriors lead at the break.
Georgetown-bound D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera hit a 3-pointer to spark the run, UCLA signee Jordan Adams’ steal led to a layup for Jordan Tebbutt, who is drawing interest from half of the Pac-12.
Memphis commit Damien Wilson fed Adams for a three-point play and the Warriors were suddenly up by 22.
Game, set, match.
Oak Hill ran away in the second half, pouring in 35 third-quarter points and breaking 100 with five minutes to go in the game. The Warriors outscored Galax 30-7 from the foul line, built a 44-26 rebounding edge and committed just six turnovers while forcing 26.
“We got to see what we knew we were going to see,” Brown said. “At times we broke the press, but they force you to play faster than you are used to, and when we played fast, they made plays faster.”
The Maroon Tide (19-2) stayed remarkably close for much of the first half. Lawrence Parsons scored underneath for an 11-10 game midway through the opening period, Austin Pack nailed a trey and two Deion George free throws ended the quarter with Galax down just 25-17.
The Tide strung together an 8-2 run in the second as George scored off a spin move, Parsons hit two foul shots and then sank a 17-foot jumper for a 34-27 score before the Warriors broke the game open.
Parsons finished with 20 points while dealing with 7-foot Purdue signee A.J. Hammons. Pack scored 10.
“Austin, Deion they all went at it pretty hard, and I was real pleased with Lawrence,” said Brown. “That was the first time he’s really had somebody in front of him. It was surprising to see him shoot the ball so well.”
Adams led all scorers with 27 points for OHA and Smith-Rivera scored 22.
Oak Hill......25 28 35 24––112
Galax..........17 14 10 13–– 54
Oak Hill (37-0)
Adams 9 8-8 27, Lewis 2 7-8 11, Tebbutt 2 0-0 4, Smith-Rivera 6 5-6 22, Wilson 3 1-2 7, Ieronymde 0 0-0 0, Hall 5 1-4 11, Currington 1 4-4 6, Iroegbu 1 0-0 2, Clark 3 0-0 6. Totals 38 30-36 112.
Peoples 0 0-0 0, Hanks 0 0-0 0, Fisher 2 1-1 5, Vaughan 0 0-0 0, Pack 4 0-0 10, George 3 2-2 8, Quesenberry 1 1-2 4, Garvey 0 0-0 0, Gable 0 0-0 0, McKinney 3 1-2 7, Parsons 9 2-2 20, Kohl 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-9 54.
Three-point field goals – Oak Hill 3-18 (Adams, Smith-Rivera), Galax 3-14 (Pack 2, Quesenberry). Rebounds – Oak Hill 44 (Hall 9), Galax 26 (Pack, Parsons 4). Turnovers – Oak Hill 6, Galax 26. Team fouls – Oak Hill 11, Galax 21. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – Iroegbu.