It wasn’t Siegel’s best game, but the state’s second-ranked Class AAA boys team still managed to clinch the District 7-AAA regular-season title Friday night.
The Stars (23-0, 9-0 District 7-AAA) defeated cross-town rival Oakland 45-42 at Randy King Gymnasium, securing the district’s regular-season title in the process.
“Not good,” Ryan Jones said when asked to describe his team’s play. “We’ve been coming out slow against the big teams in the district. We’ve got to get better at that.”
Despite the poor evaluation Jones gave his team, he still scored a game-high 16 points in the victory, 14 of which came in the first half. He also grabbed 11 rebounds in leading his team to the road win.
“It’s hard to win on the road in district,” Siegel coach Ben Dotson said. “Coach (Mike) Wright and his staff do an incredible job of getting them ready to play and you saw that tonight. Coming in, we knew it was going to be a war.”
The game went back and forth the entire night, featuring five ties and 10 lead changes as neither team ever led by more than five points.
“I was proud of our effort and the way we hung in there,” Wright said. “It’s a one possession game the entire final minute of the game. That’s what I wanted.
“We’ve just got to find a way to go just a little bit further. We’ve played the three toughest teams in district right down to the end here in the last couple of weeks. We’ve improved tremendously since December. Now it’s about taking that one final step and getting over the hump.”
The Patriots (13-12) dropped to 4-6 in district play.
Siegel iced the game with free throws in the final minute, making 5-of-10 attempts in the final 56.8 seconds.
Aden Burton added 11 points for Siegel.
Kyle Oliver and Ricky Dunnaway each scored 11 points for Oakland.
Siegel will host and be the No. 1 seed for the District 7-AAA Tournament in two weeks.
“One (seed) or two (seed), it’s the same because you get that bye,” Dotson said. “It’s good to be back in position to get the one seed, but we’ve still got a lot of work left to do.”
Oakland 59, Siegel 16: The Lady Patriots used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to build a nine-point lead by the first-period buzzer, which they didn’t relinquish the rest of the way.
The Lady Stars (9-12, 2-7) made just four field goals in the game, as Oakland (21-4, 7-3) never led by less than 10 points after the first quarter.
Shelby Gibson scored 14 points and Ansley Eubank added 12 for Oakland. Allison Bush scored five points for Siegel.