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Oak Glen rallies past St. Clairsville

NEW MANCHESTER — The Oak Glen Fieldhouse is becoming known as the house of thrills. The Golden Bear basketball team rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat St. Clairsville 78-73 Friday night in a Wheeling Hospital OVAC Tournament consolation game.

It was a tale of two halves. St. Clairsville, which defeated Oak Glen by a wide margin earlier in the season at a neutral site — Ohio University Eastern — dominated the first half with a transition game that found them shooting layups almost at will. The second half was just the opposite. The Golden Bears were the team going to the basket and also getting hot from behind the 3-point line. Oak Glen held the Red Devils at bay with a perfect 6 of 6 from the foul line in the final 35 seconds of the game.

“It wasn’t anything I said at halftime,” said Oak Glen coach Jerry Everly, whose club now has won six in and row and 13 of 20 games this season. “I talked all through the first half, but it seemed like it was falling on deaf ears, so I let my assistant coaches, Hissam and Wylie, do the talking and they got after them pretty good.

“It seemed like in the first half we had our feet in buckets of sand and St. Clairsville was racing up and down the floor. That’s kind of what the coaches got on them about and in the second half we started getting the ball down the floor quickly and going to the basket.”

When senior Brett Vike netted a 10-foot floater in the lane with three seconds left in the first half, Ryan Clifford’s club went to the locker room ahead 42-28.

Oak Glen outscored the Red Devils 30-16 with Gage Patterson’s triple knotting the score at 58 as the third period expired.

“I was just hoping we could cut their lead in half, but when Gage made that ball from the head of the key, I was feeling pretty confident,” Everly said.

St. Clairsville got the lead back at 61-60 and later 63-61 in the first minute and a half of the fourth quarter, but senior Zach Taylor’s three put the Golden Bears ahead for good with 6:13 left in the game.

“We shot well in the first half because I told them at halftime that we may have taken only one bad shot,” Clifford said. “We were reversing the ball and driving it to the basket. We were getting layups and you should shoot well when you’re getting layups.

“The second half for us was a combination of a lot of things. We didn’t go out there and play like we did in the first half. Playing at home, Oak Glen got the momentum. The crowd got into the game. That’s part of playing on the road and we didn’t handle it well. We missed some shots we made in the first half. We took some quick shots instead of doing out thing and it cost us in the end.”

Oak Glen finished with four players in double figures. Senior Zach Taylor was one rebound shy of a double-double scoring 20 points with nine rebounds. Six of his rebounds were from the offensive boards. But it was junior Jacob Clark that led the Golden Bear scoring with 26 points including a perfect six-for-six from the foul line. Patterson ended with 14 points and Brayden Mineard scored 13.

St. Clairsville, now 12-9, was led by senior Nate Harris’ 21 points. Sophomore Drew Sefsick followed with 18, Vike scored 16 and junior Will Balgo netted 11.

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