“I’ll take it,” Highlanders coach Mike Price said. “We played as good a second quarter as we have played all year, and we needed it. We did a good job at times defensively, but we needed to respect their shooters more. They have some guys who can score, and they did in the second half. “
Fairfield coach Jeff Sims watched his squad battle back in the second half, but Oak Hills methodically milked the clock down the stretch to improve to 9-2 overall and 6-0 in the GMC.
The Highlanders kept it close, hitting only 6 of 12 from the line in the final quarter. But Fairfield could only get as close at 47-43 with less than a minute to go.
Sims was hot coming off the floor for halftime, upset that the Indians didn’t attempt one free throw in the second period while Oak Hills went to the line 10 times, including two free throws scored on a technical with three seconds left
“Yeah, it was a rough quarter,” Sims said. “We just got out of what we wanted to run and broke down defensively. Really, hate to use the excuse, but we are just inexperienced and (Oak Hills) isn’t. They have experienced kids who did a great job killing the clock at the end.”
Ben Phillips scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half for Fairfield. Andre Givens was hot all night, hitting four 3-pointers en route to a team-high 15 points. Drew O’Donnell added nine points for the Tribe, which made 7 of 10 free throws.
Cam Naber marked 10 points for Oak Hills, which hit 16 of 24 from the line.
Both teams were back in action at home Friday, the Highlanders against Lakota West and Fairfield against Lakota East.
Oak Hills 11-22-9-8—50
OAK HILLS (9-2, 6-0 GMC): Nick Deifel 1 3 5, Cam Naber 3 4 10, Luke Rudy 6 3 17, Ryan Batte 5 3 13, Jacob Woycke 0 3 3, Isaac Holmes 1 0 2. Totals: 16-16-50
FAIRFIELD (6-3, 2-3 GMC): Drew O’Donnell 3 2 9, Devonte Ross 1 0 2, Andre Givens 5 1 15, Ben Phillips 5 4 14, Aiden Jones 1 0 3. Totals: 15-7-43
3-pointers: O 2 (Rudy 2), F 6 (Givens 4, O’Donnell, Jones)