PDT Sports Writer
ATHENS — Kyle Love and Luke Hammond blocked back-to-back shots in the paint with under 10 seconds left as the Oak Hill Oaks survived a late rally from the Piketon Redstreaks to win 46-44 in a Division III Regional Semifinal at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
“It still comes down to the same thing where we’ve won all year, with our defense,” Oak Hill coach Norm Persin said. “…We closed out real good and Luke made a good block and we got the rebound.”
For Piketon coach Jeff Lisath, the shot selection was not what was drawn up to be, but didn’t have anything negative to say about it.
“It was actually designed as a pick-and-roll for Zach Farmer and we were going to have Jeremy Farmer come off the weak side,” Lisath said. “Isaac (Brabson) got to the basket, he got a good look (but) the kid made a good play on it. Then he gets it again and the same thing happens.
“I think we got the shot that we wanted, it was just unfortunate that we weren’t able to convert it.”
The Oaks will take on Ironton Saturday night for a spot in the Division III State Semifinals. The Fighting Tigers used a strong third quarter to dismiss Martins Ferry 85-54 in the night’s first semifinal.
Oak Hill held the largest lead in the contest when they were up by nine points on five different occasions. Drew Haislop led the Oaks with 11 points and Love added 10 in the win.
The Redstreaks led only once, a 10-2 advantage to start the game before Oak Hill went on an 11-0 run and never looked back.
“It was a game of streaks,” Persin said. “They jump on us early and the timeout was probably the greatest timeout we’ve ever had in a long time.”
Piketon was 0-for-10 from 3-point range before Brabson made the team’s only shot from the arc with 1:34 remaining.
“I kept saying to get the ball into our bigs, apparently (Oak Hill) did a good job defensively because we weren’t able to do it consistently,” Lisath said. “We did it a couple of times and scored but for whatever reason, we kept going away from it and we haven’t been a very good 3-point shooting team.”
While the Redstreaks were struggling from the perimeter, Persin’s bunch didn’t have as much success as well, shooting 3-of-11 on the night.
“We hit two (three-pointers) on the run,” Persin said. “Drew Haislop nailed one and then Nathan Kidd hit another big one. And then we fell in love with it.”
He told his players the remedy to put the opponents away wouldn’t come from 3-point range.
“I told (the kids), they cannot guard us in our offense,” Persin said. “They can’t guard us when we kept cutting. When we kept cutting, we have layups.”
Craigen Moore led all scorers with a dozen while Jeremy Farmer added 11 in the loss. The Redstreaks will lose Brabson, Moore, Evan Ferguson, Austin Buchanan, Colten Williams and Zach Farmer to graduation.
“This is the third game in-a-row (where) we decided to turn on the motors when our backs are against the wall and it cost us tonight,” Lisath said.
“…I’m very proud of them, they went through all of the battles. Over the last three years, they’ve had some success. You talk about winning the SVC three years in-a-row, three sectional titles, getting a district championship and being state-ranked, they’ve had a lot of success and set the tone for the program.”
The loss also means the end of the tenure for Lisath, who announced earlier this season that he would step down following a career that included one state semifinal appearance in 2009 for the program.
“I hate to go out like this but that’s just the way it is,” Lisath said.
Oak Hill will be vying for its first state semifinal appearance since the Oaks won the Division IV State Championship in 2009.
“The situation with us is that we don’t want to go home,” Persin said. “In the last three games, we’ve been underdogs and we’re going to be underdogs Saturday night again.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Piketon 13 6 11 14 — 44
Oak Hill 16 12 11 7 — 46
Piketon — Brabson 3-1-8, Williams 1-1-3, Moore 5-2-12, Brewster 1-0-2, Z. Farmer 3-2-8, J. Farmer 5-1-11, Totals 18-7-44.
Oak Hill — Gaines 2-0-4, Stiltner 3-3-10, Haislop 3-4-11, Kidd 3-0-7, Love 5-0-10, Hammond 1-2-4, Totals 17-9-46.
3-Point Goals — Piketon 1 (Brabson); Oak Hill 3 (Stiltner, Haislop, Kidd).
Records — Piketon 22-4; Oak Hill 22-4.