The first quarter was a turnover-filled brickathon and the other three periods weren’t any prettier. But the Oakdale High School boys basketball team said that was totally fine.
Playing against South Carroll on the road for the first time since last year’s playoffs — where they were eliminated after a 64-46 loss — the Bears (11-3) held the Cavaliers to four points in the first quarter and came away with a 46-35 win on Tuesday night in Sykesville.
“We were just talking about it in the locker room how it was our best defensive performance we’ve probably ever had,” junior Zach Thomas said.
Added senior Kevin Heine: “I remember looking up at the scoreboard and I’ve seen scores like that at my sister’s middle school games.”
Oakdale led 7-4 after the first quarter and maintained that defensive intensity throughout the game, leading from start to finish and remaining unbeaten in league play.
“We knew it was going to be a tough place to play but we came in, we grinded out, and won,” Oakdale coach Terry Connolly said.
Thomas scored 15 points and hit a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to give the Bears a 38-31 lead and secure the victory. He went to the line seven times — five more than the entire South Carroll (9-4) team.
“We held him down early, [but], he’s crafty,” South Carroll coach Doug Goff said. “He knows how to get to the foul line. That’s where he got going and that was a big difference in the game. He was able to get to the foul line and we weren’t. We have to be a little bit more aggressive I guess.”
Junior Jonathan Hoyle scored 11 and Heine added 10 points to round up the double-digit scorers.
South Carroll’s leading scorer, Gavin McTavish, finished with 17 points and senior Tyler Alcid added 12.
McTavish struggled in the early going, committing four first-quarter turnovers before picking up his play in he second half.
“I just pressured him as much as I could and he still got his throughout the game. You can’t hold a player like him to zero points, it’s just not going to happen,” Heine said.
McTavish, 6-foot-6, was guarded primary by Heine. But Thomas, forward John Bush, and even 5-foot-9 Clay Conner spent time on the Cavaliers’ versatile big man.
“Even when I switched, my teammates did a great job covering him as well,” Heine said.
South Carroll returned just two starters from last year’s championship team but hopes for a rematch against Oakdale in the playoffs.
“They really try to force you to play their style of game. And we unfortunately weren’t as good as them in that style,” Goff said.
“If we can run into them again … we’ll know a little bit better about how to handle that pressure.”
Oakdale 46, South Carroll 35
Oakdale (11-3) 7 10 12 17 — 46
South Carroll (9-4) 4 9 12 10 — 35
Oakdale — Zach Thomas 15; Jonathan Hoyle 11; Kevin Heine 10; John Bush 7; Clay Conner 3.
South Carroll — Gavin McTavish 17; Tyler Alcid 12; Logan Cook 2; Matthew Breno 2; Philip Breno 2.