Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), the No. 1 team in the Super 25 boys basketball rankings, has a chance to decimate its record for most wins in a season and that is a surprise to even longtime coach Steve Smith.
The Warriors are 44-0 with their last regular-season game at home Tuesday night against Southwest Christian (Little Rock). Oak Hill also is playing in the the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals basketball tournament, so it could conceivably finish 48-0.
One of the wins came by forfeit because Hamilton (Memphis, Tenn.) was using an ineligible player when it beat Oak Hill in January.
“We’ve had five or six games that were still in the balance in the fourth quarter,” Smith said. “I knew we had a good team, but our schedule was pretty tough. This team has persevered. We had only one major injury with Rodney (Miller), but I am really surprised with how well this team has played together. They have really bought into the tradition and success of Oak Hill.”
In the 2012 season, Oak Hill, led by Jordan Adams (now with the Memphis Grizzlies), D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (now a junior at Georgetown), A.J. Hammons (now a Purdue junior) and Tyler Lewis (now a redshirt junior at Butler), finished 44-0.
A 45-0 season might be a national record, but the National Federation of State High School Associations does’’t list most wins in a season in its record book, and there are plenty of teams, such as Oak Hill, that do not play for a state association.
Considering the level of competition the Warriors play, 45 or more wins is impressive regardless. Oak Hill has beaten eight teams that have spent time this season in the Super 25, including three still in it: Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland); Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) and Cape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach).
A big key for Oak Hill has been its overall depth and the strength of its backcourt, including Florida State signee Dwayne Bacon and Missouri commit Terrence Phillips.
In just one season at Oak Hill, Bacon, a 6-6 shooting guard, recently passed 1,000 points.
“Dwayne Bacon is better than anyone we have had since Brandon Jennings was here. I thought he was that good but, I don’t think other people knew how good he was coming into the season,” Smith said of the 2008 Oak Hill product now sidelined with injury for the Detroit Pistons.
“That helps when you have a guy like that who can give us a basket when you need it. He’s really gotten comfortable with teammates. He’s made all those guys better right now.”
Phillips, a 5-11 senior, is a three-year starter at point guard and gives the team stability.
“He’s started more games (101 going into Tuesday’s game) than anyone in school history,” Smith said. “He might be more invaluable than Bacon. When we take him off the floor, there’s a big difference, offensively and defensively. He doesn’t get credit for it, but he’s a good shooter. He’s so unselfish. He’s always looking for his teammates first.”