Boys Basketball SW Ohio Game of the Week -Oakwood Edges Carlisle in SWBL Crossover

Senior Will Maxwell hit for 24 of the Lumberjacks 40 points in a three point home win over the visiting Indians of Carlisle.

The teams were never separated by more than 5 points in a hard-played seesaw battle at Oakwood's famed (infamous?) Pit. The Jacks built an 11-6 lead near the 2-minute mark of the first quarter, only to see the Indians take a 20-19 halftime advantage with Senior Connor Smith put back sophomore guard Blake Lawson's missed layup at the intermission buzzer.

Smith led Carlisle with 14 points, ten of those in the first half. Oakwood did not allow Smith a point in the final 13 minutes and held the Indians to just five 4th quarter points.

"We talked about that before the game," noted Oakwood Head Coach Paul Stone. "We have to do the little things, things that don't show up on the stat sheet. Just doing everything we can each possession. We are not skilled enough to just take care of business."

"We knew we had to turn it up a notch," explained Senior Captain Ethan Stone. "After our Brookville loss, that was a real chip on our shoulder. We had to bounce back from that. One of our main concerns after that one was our defense."

"We just talked about it in the locker room," Carlisle coach John Giles. "Our execution, especially down the stretch was not very good. Our shot selection in the first half wasn't up to par and then late we missed a couple that we should have finished. We went cold at the wrong time."

Trailing 34-31 with 6:58 to play in the 4th, Oakwood went on an 8-0 run. Maxwell spurred the effort with a perfect behind the back pass to Junior PJ Bremner whose six points all came in the second half. Maxwell scored the Jack's next bucket and then assisted on Junior Aiden Jacomet's basket at 3:42 for the game's final lead change.

"Yes, those are my favorite things, we've talked about that before," was Maxwell's response when asked about the passes.

The Indian's Cole Harmeyer bombed a 3 with 3.9 seconds left to cut the lead to 39-37. Maxwell then hit one of two free throws to make the final 40-37.

"We asked some kids to do some tough things defensively," said Stone. "Face guard. Deny the basketball. Just work their tails off on defense. (Sophomore) Luke Rubin, Jacomet, and (Senior guard) Ian Ganow did a phenomenal job sacrificing for the team."

"This is a tough place for an opponent to win," Giles reminded. "I know they went undefeated at home last year. But when you hold a team to 40 points, you'd like to come out a winner. We want to take the next step this year bringing back 5 starters. The start of our schedule is very difficult but I think overall," he paused. "I think we'll be alright this season."
Oakwood evens its season mark at 2-2 with a three game week ahead. Carlisle dips to 2-2 with Brookville and National Trail coming up next weekend.
Oakwood captured the JV encounter as well 38-29.

Author's Note: My sincere thanks Oakwood Athletic Director Tyler Rhodus who found me a small table and chair to use for my work. First time ever I have had an actual working space in the Pit. Also to both coaches for their kind cooperation and willingness to give their time for postgame conversation. Look for an early one next week. Probably a Tuesday night matchup.
Thanks for reading.
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