Oak Grove coach Ty Hames’ mantra is simple: There is no “I” in team.
His boys basketball team took the coach’s advice to heart, spread the wealth and hung on for a 68-62 non-conference win over St. Michael the Archangel Monday night before a packed home crowd.
Trey Bryant lived in the paint and scored a game-high 20 points, with five layups coming off assists from Jaxon Althaus.
Dylon Pfeifer took up residence downtown, hitting five 3-pointers on his way to a 17-point night.
And Althaus came up two steals in the final 54 seconds and added 19 points and 10 boards to star on both ends of the court.
T.J. Jackson came off the bench and had two steals in a near perfect first quarter and do-it-all reserve Brenden Marsh hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first period and added two much-needed free throws when the game was still on the line in the fourth quarter.
“That might have been the best first quarter we’ve played all season,” Hames said. “We passed well, got everyone involved in the offense and pretty much dominated a very good team.”
The Panthers led 23-10 after one period, but had to hold on for their lives late in the game as the Guardians used an 18-11 third-quarter advantage to trail just 47-45 going into the fourth quarter.
“You’re not going to beat many good teams going 12-for-26 at the line,” Hames said, “but when we needed a big play, we got it from someone. This is a good win for a very tired team.”
The Panthers have four played games in the past six days.
“It’s a big win,” Bryant said. “Jaxon and the other guys did a great job getting me the ball inside and Dylon had a big game from the outside.”
Added Pfeifer: “The first half was just about perfect and we had to work hard the second half. But we held on to win, and that’s the most important thing.”
Before the game, Althaus was honored for becoming the fifth player in Oak Grove boys basketball history to score 1,000 points. He was presented a basketball by Hames.
“That was nice, but all I wanted to do tonight was win,” Althaus said. “I’ll take a win any day.”