Even without center Harry Giles, Oak Hill Academy was too much for Providence Day on Friday, the Warriors stopping the Chargers 76-64.
The teams played at Forsyth Country Day School in the first round of the Phenom National High School Showcase. Giles, the nation’s top recruit who committed to Duke last week, recently injured a knee and is out for the season.
But Oak Hill, ranked No. 3 in USA Today’s preseason national poll, proved it has other players ready to step up. Mario Kegler was especially strong for the Warriors, finishing with 25 points, including a 6-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Providence Day had its moments, though. Its only lead came at 7-5 in the first quarter after a jumper by Josh Howard.
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After falling behind by 20 points early in the third quarter, the Chargers rallied, outscoring the Warriors in the second half.
Three who mattered
▪ Oak Hill’s Mario Kegler was a force, grabbing five rebounds in addition to leading all scorers.
▪ Grant Williams led Providence Day with 23 points.
▪ Providence Day’s Josh Howard picked up his third foul with 4 minutes, 19 seconds left in the second quarter and was relegated to the bench for the rest of the half.
▪ It was a physical contest. Oak Hill was called for two technicals, the second after Kegler pushed Williams to the floor in the fourth quarter.
▪ A pair of second-quarter 3-pointers by Providence Day’s Trey Wertz pulled the Chargers to within 26-18, the last time Oak Hill’s lead was under double digits.
▪ Harry Giles watched from the bench, though he shot a few baskets during warmups, not an easy trick considering he was limping and wearing boots that appeared better suited for mountain climbing.
▪ Oak Hill has seven players who stand 6-foot-7 or taller. Six of its players have committed to Division I programs.
They said it
Providence Day foward Josh Howard: “We knew they’d come out and press us and try to dunk on us. We weren’t disappointed.”
Providence Day coach Brian Field: “I’m proud of our kids, we didn’t back down. It’s a big deal to play a team with the national exposure Oak Hill has.”
Oak Hill coach Steve Smith: “I’m not happy that we picked up two technical fouls. I told my team it’s not their job to talk to the referees, that’s my job.”