The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.


January 3, 2013

Local teams look to get on track

Oak Hill enters Friday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup at the Lilly Center against Bluefield attempting to recover from two narrow losses last week.

Last Friday, the Red Devil boys dropped a 66-63 decision in overtime to host Lewis County to dip to 2-3.

“We had a shot (against Lewis County),” said first-year coach Walt Raines. “It was 59-59 and we missed a shot underneath.

“We could’ve won the game right there.”

That setback occurred on the heels of Oak Hill coming up on the short end of a 52-50 verdict to host Elkins the previous evening.

The northern swing featured the first appearance by junior guard Jalen Jones in the Oak Hill basketball lineup this season. Raines says Jones, a first-team all-state football player who has been hindered by an injury, will obviously be a huge boost for the Red Devils, but it will take him a little time to get up to speed after missing early practice and game time.

“Right now, with Jalen coming back, he doesn’t have a grasp of all the offense,” said Raines. “It’s kind of like we’re starting all over.

“But he’s an amazing player.”

While Jones has returned and is working his way into basketball shape, Raines says the Red Devils have been hampered of late by a foot injury suffered by 6-foot-3 center DeMarcus Hughes, who was sidelined for the Elkins and Lewis County games and will possibly be on the shelf a little longer.

“That’s a big loss for us,” Raines said. “He’s our best offensive post player.”

Players such as Joey Re, Kyalo Bradford and Kadrin Goodman will help fill the interior void (Re scored 14 against Lewis and Bradford had 12 against Elkins), but they make more of their contributions from the wing, Raines said.

Elsewhere last week, the Meadow Bridge Wildcats suffered a 69-48 setback to Independence Friday.

“Right now, we’re up and down,” said Wildcats coach Mark Gladwell, whose squad fell to 2-2. “We’re a different team at home than what we are on the road, unfortunately.

“The consistent effort we need to be showing just hasn’t been there.”

Independence’s size “gave us problems,” Gladwell admitted.

The Wildcats travel to Montcalm Friday before visiting Valley next Tuesday, Jan. 8. “We know they’re going to pressure us,” Gladwell said of the undefeated Greyhounds.

Also last week, the Wildcat girls team lost for the first time this season, a 44-42 setback to Richwood in the championship contest of the Wildcat Invitational Friday. And, the Midland Trail girls participated in a holiday tournament at Greenbrier East.

Below is a review of the recent games:

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