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2015 National Division Champions Re-Cap

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2015 National Division Champions

Oak Hill Academy (VA) is now a perfect 3 for 3 in the National Division of the Chick-fil-A Classic. They won the title in 2011, 2013 and now 2015. After defeating Paul VI (VA) in 2011 in regulation the last two titles took overtime to accomplish. In 2013 Oak Hill defeated Archbishop Carroll (PA) to win their second title and this year the Warriors defeated Huntington Prep (WV) to claim their third championship.
Oak Hill entered this year’s tournament as one of four teams who were nationally ranked in the pre-season. The Warriors have survived the losses of two of the nation’s top 100 senior players (Harry Giles – signed with Duke and Joe Hampton – signed with Penn State) to season ending injuries and an early season upset loss to 22 Foot Academy to remain one of the top teams in the nation. Legendary Coach Steve Smith is fast approaching 1,000 wins for his career (997 at the end of the Chick-fil-A Classic).
The Warriors opened the tournament this year against Arlington Country Day School (FL) with an 83-66 win. The Apaches of ACD led at halftime 35-34 but Oak Hill outscored ACD by 19 in the second half led by Junior Ty-Shon Alexander’s 26 points on 8 for 9 shooting including 6-6 from 3-pt range to secure the opening round win. Other key contributors were Braxton Key (11 pts, 6 reb), Lindell Wiggington (12 pts) and Devontae Shuler (20 pts in 16 minutes of action).
In the semi-finals Oak Hill defeated South Carolina’s #1 ranked Class 4A Pre-season and Regionally Ranked team (Blythewood Bengals 11-1) by a score of 95 to 52 after leading only by five (32-27) at halftime. The Warriors shot a blistering 73.5% (25-34) from the field in the second half while holding Blythewood to 25.6% (10-39) from the field to advance to the championship game. Oak Hill had 5 players score in double figures (Braxton Key 16 pts, 11 reb / Mario Kegler 16 pts, 10 reb / Matt Coleman 10 pts / Lindell Wiggington 12pts / Devontae Shuler 21 pts on 9-11 shooting in 16 minutes of playing time).
In the National Division Championship Game Oak Hill overcame Huntington Preps dynamic duo of Miles Bridges (35 pts, 10 reb) and Curtis Jones (27 pts) to prevail by a score of 93 to 85 in overtime. Oak Hill started the game fast and led 9-0 before Huntington Preps Trace Young hit a 3 to get HP on the board. Oak Hill continued their hot first half and led 21-5 with 8:45 remaining in the half before Huntington Prep began chipping away at the lead and only trailed by three at the half (33-30). Oak Hill held onto the lead in the second half until Huntington Prep’s Miles Bridges (National Division Most Outstanding Player) hit a jumpshot to give the Irish their first lead of the game 63-62 with 6:16 remaining. From there the teams traded 1 point leads until Hunting Prep went up by 3 (69-66) on dunk by Bridges with 4:16 left to play. Huntington Prep held the lead until Oak Hill tied the score at 74-74 with 1:20 to go. The Irish quickly regained the lead and was ahead until Oak Hill’s Ty-Shon Alexander (National Division Most Valuable Player) tied the score at 76-76 with 00:01 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. In overtime the Warriors outscored the Irish 17-9 to win the championship. Oak Hill was led by Alexander’s 28 points (8 for 11 from the field including 6-8 from 3-pt range). Matt Coleman chipped in 23 pts while All-tournament selection Braxton Key contributed 15 pts and 12 rebounds. Columbia native Devontae Shuler contributed 11 points and was also selected to the All-Tournament team.