Springfield to Springfield challenge finally conquered by O'Dowd, Oak Hill

Springfield to Springfield challenge finally conquered by O'Dowd, Oak Hill

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Springfield to Springfield challenge finally conquered by O'Dowd, Oak Hill

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Oak Hill pulled off the rare Springfield to Springfield double and came out with a win Monday.

Oak Hill pulled off the rare Springfield to Springfield double and came out with a win Monday.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Plenty of teams have tried to do the Springfield, Mo., to Springfield, Mass., double, but until Monday, teams that tried to get a win at the Spalding Hoophall Classic after playing over the weekend at the BASS Pro Shops Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo., were a combined 1-9.

And then, just like that, the curse was lifted with Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) and Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) accomplishing the task.

No. 2 Oak Hill defeated No. 9 Villa St. Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland) 76-70 Monday, overcoming a 14-point deficit in the process as Dwayne Bacon had 33 points. On Saturday, the Warriors won the BASS Pro title with an 82-59 defeat of then-No. 8 Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.).

“I could tell two minutes into today’s game that we didn’t have any energy,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said. “We weren’t playing with any emotion. I know it’s tough on them. We’re asking them to do that they’re not used to.”

Here’s what makes the Springfield double tough. After winning Saturday night at around midnight, the Warriors had about three hours of sleep before their flight Sunday morning. After sitting around through delays, their flight was diverted to Boston, instead of the closer Hartford airport because of the weather, making for a difficult day off.

“We were flying all day yesterday, it seemed like with all the delays,” Bacon said. “You could tell we were tired, but we came out in the second half and we played normal.”

No. 17 Bishop O’Dowd made the transition seem a little easier, knocking off No. 3 Wheeler (Marietta) 79-70 as Ivan Rabb had 24 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. The Dragons also played in the BASS Pro, but their third-place defeat of Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) was earlier Saturday.

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