Friday marked a special night at West Oak high school, as a new four person class was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. Former Basketball standout Steve Grogan, Wayne Rholetter and Jim Tannery were inducted for their contributions to the school's powerhouse wrestling program. The other inductee was Tyler Grimes, he starred for West Oak Football graduating in 1984. He then went on to Clemson and played DB for legendary Coach Danny Ford.
While the night was one that featured a ceremony. Daniel tried to ruin the special night for the homestanding Warriors and did so in the nightcap of the two game set. West Oak girls got a hard fought 42-40 win, as they got a defensive stop to close the game out. Daniel led 17-8 after the 1st quarter and led by as many as 14 in the game.
After trailing 26-15 at half, West Oak Coach Annie Burgess made a stellar halftime adjustment going to full court man to man pressure. The Lady Warriors stifled Daniel with that defense holding them to just 14 second half points. West Oak outscored Daniel 27-14 after the break to win the game. Joey Burgess led the way for the Lady Warriors with 12. With the win, West Oak moves to 15-5 but more importantly they move to 6-1 in region. That puts them in 1st place as Walhalla lost to Crescent in OT Friday night.
The Boys game was another close, hard fought game with some high drama moments in the closing seconds. It was certainly not pretty and was a defensive slugfest, but Daniel came away with a 35-34 road win to get the season sweep of West Oak's Boys.
The game was tied at 9 after the 1st quarter. West Oak then held Daniel to just three 2nd quarter points and led 16-12 at the half. Daniel would then clamp down on West Oak in the 3rd and outscore them 9-4 to lead 21-20 heading into the 4th.
West Oak got a bad break early in the 4th when starting Point Guard Charlie Daniels was injured driving to the hoop. Daniels left the game with what looked like a knee or lower leg injury and he did not return. That contributed to West Oak having trouble with ball security specifically in the 4th as Daniel turned up the pressure.
The game was nip and tuck down the stretch. West Oak Sophomore Guard Walker Buck was thrusted into playing more minutes in crucial stretches than normal. Buck was fouled on a fast break drive in a tie game with 10 seconds left. He missed both free throws, but got his own rebound and was fouled again. He made the first on this trip and missed the second. Daniel called timeout with 5 seconds left.
I was a but surprised, by the last sequence. West Oak had just 5 team fouls so they had a foul to give on the last Daniel possession. The Warriors elected not to foul the dribbler on the floor and give the last foul they had prior to the bonus. Not giving that foul allowed Daniel's Jaylen Brown-Wallace to drive to the lane. He was fouled at the rim in the act of shooting with .5 seconds left. He then drained both free throws to give Daniel the one point win at 35-34.
It was a physical defensive battle all night and the game was marred by turnovers. West Oak turned it over 25 times, Daniel had 20 turnovers themselves. Daniel moves to 5-2 in region 1 3A with the win, which puts them in a 1st place tie with Walhalla. West Oak has now lost back to back games in region play and are now 4-3.
Region action continues next week, West Oak will be at Oconee County rival Walhalla on Tuesday in a pivotal region game for both their Girls and Boys Teams. Daniel is at home Tuesday facing off with rival Seneca.