By Dave Morrison
NEW RICHMOND – Oak Hill did miss from 3-point range against Wyoming East in its Class AA Region 3, Section 1 matchup on Tuesday.
But it sure didn’t feel like it for the Warriors.
The Red Devils made 17 3s en route to a 56-37 victory over the Warriors, a win that will keep the Red Devils from dropping into a play-in game in the Class AA Region 3, Section 1 tournament next week in Beckley.
The Red Devils made 17 of their 31 attempts (54.8 percent) from 3, but that was just the start of mystifying statistical evening.
In fact, Oak Hill did something nobody associated with the game could remember seeing. The Red Devils made just two 2-point field goals and one free throw. And still won by 19.
“They only had two (2s)?” Wyoming coach Derek Brooks asked. “That sounds about right. That’s crazy. I probably haven’t (seen it before).”
“I’ve never been in that situation before,” Oak Hill coach Benitez Jackson said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. But that is what our guys are comfortable with.”
The Red Devils barrage of 3s started from the outset and continued until Oak Hill’s final basket. Oak Hill went wire-to-wire on 3s and hit a whole lot of them in between.
The Red Devils, with swift ball movement, continually found guys with the hot hand.
Senior Jason Manns started it, with a 3 pointer to start the game and , after falling behind by 4-3, Manns hit another. Freshman Omar Lewis had a free throw and then a two. It would be the last free throw the Red Devils would make (or shoot) and the Red Devils would not have another two until the fourth quarter.
That was the start of 15-0 run.
Manns hit a 3 and Rinehart two to push the Red Devils lead to 18-4.
After Wyoming East freshman Chandler Johnson completed a three-point play, Rinehart would hit three more 3s (he had five in the first half) and Darian McDowell had another as the Red Devils took a 30-14 half-time lead.
Wyoming East got in on the 3-point storyline, when Andrew Bishop hit his second 3 in two games, the first two of his career.
Rinehart had a season-high 21 points. Much like his team on Tuesday, Rinehart doesn’t waste much time on 2s. He doesn’t have one this season.
Last year at Fayetteville, which closed and consolidated into Oak Hill, Rinehart had 78 3s and just 20 2s. His last two in a game was in a regular-season ending victory against Mount View.
His seven 3s give him 50 for the season.
In his career Rinehart has 178 3s and 49 2s.
“A lot of practice,” Rinehart said of the reason for his shooting ability/ “I shot a lot at the Memorial Building (in Fayetteville), a lot at the high school. A little bit of everywhere.”
In the second half, Jacob Perdue joined the three-point party. But not until the 3:20 mark, when he had the Red Devils first basket of the second half. Wyoming East was able to get the lead down to eight and trailed 39-30 at the end of the third quarter when Anthony Martin scored inside.
But their hard work in the third was undone by the Red Devils fourth quarter start, three straight 3s, two by Rinehart and another by Perdue.
Brooks tried to keep Oak Hill off the 3-point line, even employing a man defense in the fourth quarter, a rare departure for the team which is basically zone based.
“I don’t feel like we match up with them very well in man-to-man because they are a little quicker than us, more athletic, and it’s hard for us to keep those guys in front of us ,” Brooks said. “I felt zone was our best chance, but maybe playing man-to-man is our best chance. Run them off the line and make them score inside
Oak Hill had four 3s in the first quarter, five in the second, three in the third and five in the fourth.
After Lewis’ free throw and 2 in the first quarter, Oak Hill hit 13 straight 3s before Manns hit a two midway through the fourth. Perdue hit the final two 3s to end the game.
In addition to 21 from Rinehart, Perdue had 15 and Manns 14.
“That was probably the most 3s we’ve had in a game, but I think we have shot better,” Perdue said.
“I figured they would go to a man (earlier) but they stayed in that zone and we just shot it up,” Manns said.
Jackson said he would trust any of his four shooters – including Darian McDowell, who had the other 3 – in a clutch moment needing a 3.
But which one of the shooters thinks he is the best shooter.
“I gotta go with me, no question,” Manns said.
“It’s definitely me,” Rinehart said.
“Th best 3-point shooter?” Perdue asked. “That’s me.”
One bright spot for the Warriors was the play of freshman Chandler Johnson, who had his first double-figure game with 13 points.
“Feels pretty good to get it off my back,” Johnson said. “I was just trying to contribute to the team. I figured we (along with fellow freshmen Garrett Mitchell and Jacob Howard) would come in and play some JV and work hard and try to get some varsity minutes.”
When several players left the team, that all changed.
“He played very well in the second half,” Brooks said. “We told him afterwards, ‘Look, we want you to play that aggressive at the beginning.’ He had an excellent effort there in the second half. I know that’s what Chandler can do, we want him to do it all the time.”
Jacob Bishop had 10 points for the Warriors.
Oak Hill 56, Wyoming East 37
Oak Hill (7-12)
Jacob Perdue 5 0-0 15, Jason Manns 5 0-0 14, Hunter Rinehart 7 0-0 21, Omar Lewis 1 1-2 3, Ethan Vargo 0 0-0 0, Cade Maynor 0 0-0 0, Darian McDowell 1 0-0 3, Camden Craddock 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 1-2 56
Wyoming East (6-13)
Chandler Johnson 5 2-4 13, Tucker Cook 0 0-0 0, Garrett Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Jacob Bishop 4 1-3 10, Anthony Martin 3 0-2 6, Jacob Howard 1 0-0 2, Randy Raye 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 16 3-9 37.
Oak Hill 15 15 9 17 – 56
Wyoming East 4 10 16 7 – 37
Three-point field goals – OH: 17 (Rinehart 7, Perdue 5, Manns 4, McDowell 1), WE: 2 (Johnson 1, Bishop 1). Fouled out – None.