The Phoenix varsity boys continued their hot streak Tuesday with a 61-45 win over the Fairview Warriors, winning a sixth straight game and improving to 8-2 on the season.
Junior Caleb Hughley started a scoring rampage for the Phoenix, opening with back-to-back three pointers.
He added five more points for a total of 11 within the first three minutes of play. By halftime, Hughley had racked up 15, and he finished the night with 21.
Fairview was unable to put the brakes on Oberlin until roughly two minutes were left in the first quarter. That’s when Jared Butler sank a three-pointer and broke the Phoenix’s 16 point run.
“The first five or six minutes I don’t think we could have played any better than that,” said Oberlin head coach Kurt Russell.
The boys held a 22-5 lead at the end of the first and the Warriors took over at the start of the second quarter playing zone defense and hitting shot after shot. Fairview added nine points before Oberlin could finish a single shot.
The Warriors forced the Phoenix to make quick decisions and trapped them in the corners.
Still, Oberlin was able to secure a 33-24 lead at halftime.
Fairview continued its strong offensive attacks at the start of the second half and cut Oberlin’s lead to 33-30.
Russell said Fairview made an excellent run on offense and made the Phoenix play at the Warriors’ tempo, controlling the pace of the period.
“We need to learn how to finish ball games and I thought we didn’t do that very well,” he said.
The Phoenix took back control of the game, moving the ball well across the court, and finding big Donald Johnson in the paint.
Butler sank a half court buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter, making it 39-35 Oberlin.
Johnson took over in the final period for his team and led a runs of six and eight points.
He ended the game with 19 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter.
Four Phoenix players reached double digits Saturday in a 76-36 victory over the Open Door Patriots.
Hughley, Johnson, Zion Hicks, and Justin Smith combined for 57 points on the night.
The boys jumped to a 20-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and were able to add 24 more points to secure an 18-point lead at halftime.
Oberlin held Open Door to just 10 points in the second half of the game.
The Phoenix will travel to Clearview to face the Clippers at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Both teams are tied for first place in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division with a record of 5-1 in the conference.
“It should be a pretty good game for us,” Russell said. “We are looking forward to it. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Junior David Payne looks across the court for a teammate before driving to the hoop.