By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Bluefield Beavers and Oak Hill are no longer regional rivals as the Red Devils have moved up to Class AAA, but they still have a basketball series that brings out the best in both teams.
Tuesday night at the Brushfork Armory the Beavers pulled away from Oak Hill in the second half for a 78-60 win. Anthony Eades topped the Bluefield scoring column with 27, while Joey Re knocked in 26 for Oak Hill.
“It was a tough game down there, so we knew we had to be ready to play hard tonight,” Eades said.
Bluefield shot out of the gate in the opening period, going up by seven with Eades putting eight points through the net. The Bluefield lead could have been larger, but the Beavers missed several layups and put-backs that allowed Oak Hill to remain in striking distance.
The Beavers led by six, 19-13 at the first quarter buzzer.
In the second quarter Bluefield pushed the ball down low to D.J. Edwards, Corey Coppola and Matthew Woodrum. A minute into the period Woodrum completed a three-point-play to give Bluefield a 10-point lead, 25-15, but two minutes later Woodrum, who had come off the Beavers’ bench, would sit with his third foul. At that time Edwards took it to the hoop, had a three-point play and another bucket, and Coppola had two baskets. Collier penetrated and converted a three-point play and added a three from behind the arc.
Despite the Bluefield offensive performance, Oak Hill whittled away at the Bluefield lead thanks to Re. Re scored 12 in the quarter and his basket with just under three minutes remaining made it a one-point game.
Bluefield pulled away again and Collier’s three with a second to go in the half put the Beavers ahead 40-33 at halftime.
“We missed a lot of layups in the first half and I just felt like if we settled down in the second half, try to limit them to one shot, do better on our blocking out, that we would be okay in this game,” said Bluefield head coach Buster Large.
Oak Hill head coach Walter Raines said, “That shot at the end of the second quarter was huge. That kind of hurt. Our guys were fighting. They are used to being in close games and that’s getting kind of old, so we’ve got to figure out how to win one.”
The third quarter belonged to Bluefield as Eades was the recipient of several long passes converted to scores, and feeds from Collier for baskets.
“I was getting great looks and Lykel (Collier) was giving me the ball really well, so all of my looks came from him,” Eades said.
The Beavers’ junior scored 12 in the period as Bluefield pulled away, first going up by 12 midway through the quarter and by as many as 18 during the third. Bluefield held a 58-46 advantage going into the final eight minutes.
Eades drilled a three and sank two free throws in the fourth and Bluefield’s lead grew as high as 24 when Michael Yost drained a trey midway through the final stanza.
“I thought Anthony Eades had a really nice game,” Large said. “I thought Lykel (Collier) fed the ball in real well. We got solid play again from Matthew Woodrum and Jordan Ponder off the bench and a lot of consistency on the floor. That’s what we’re looking for this time of year. We just want to stay consistent, keep playing well and get better each week.”
In addition to Eades’ 27 points, he had two blocks, five rebounds and four steals. Collier added 13 points with 11 assists. Edwards had 11 points and five rebounds. Coppola had eight points with eight boards and Matthew Woodrum tallied seven points to go along with five rebounds and two blocks.
Complementing Re’s 26 for Oak Hill, Ervin Fruit came off the bench to score 12.
Bluefield, now 17-2, will host James Monroe, Friday night at the Armory.
Oak Hill, 3-11, will host Shady Spring, Thursday night. The Red Devils and Shady Spring will play in sectional tournament action in a couple of weeks at the Brushfork Armory, and Oak Hill coach Raines was glad to play at the venue against Bluefield.
“I think it gives the kids some experience on this court,” Raines commented. “It’s a nice court, but it will help (in sectional tournament) because our gym is only 84 feet, so this is 94 feet and that will help.”
— Contact Bob Redd at email@example.com
Dakota Smalls 0 0-0 0, D.J. Edwards 5 1-1 11, Anthony Eades 10 6-6 27, Lykel Collier 5 1-1 13, Michael Yost 3 1-2 8, Jordan Ponder 1 0-0 2, David Woodrum 1 0-0 2, Corey Coppola 4 0-1 8, Matthew Woodrum 3 1-1 7, Aaron Miller 0 0-0 0, Totals 32 10-12 78.
OAK HILL (60)
Kadrin Goodman 4 0-0 8, Josh Jones 1 1-2 4, Marc Logan 1 0-0 2, Kyalo Bradford 3 2-6 8, Joey Re 10 6-7 26, Ervin Fruit 5 2-2 12, Chris Hysell 0 0-0 0, Donte Scruggs 0 0-0 0, Colby Gray 0 0-0 0, Totals 24 11-17 60.
Oak Hill...............................13 20 13 14 — 60
Bluefield.............................19 21 18 20 — 78
3-point goals: OH 1 (Jones), B 4 (Collier 2, Eades, Yost).
Technical fouls: Oak Hill (player not listed in book). Fouled out: None.