CHARLESTON, S.C. – Ooltewah’s once-beaten Owls proved rude guests Friday night in the Peper Law Firm Holiday Classic.
Point guard Antonio Jackson scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Owls past previously unbeaten West Ashley, 70-52, in the second round of the classic at West Ashley High School.
Ooltewah (9-1) will play Hough High School (9-1) out of Charlotte, N.C., in Saturday's championship game at 6:30 p.m.
“(Hough) is really good and they’ve got two 6-9 posts,” Owls coach Jesse Nayadley said in a telephone interview.
Jackson also had eight assists and made two 3-pointers against West Ashley.
“Antonio was really good all night on both sides of the ball,” Nayadley said. “(Our) hard pressure finally wore them down. They were undefeated and playing in their own gym and we played really good basketball.”
The Owls, who beat Hanahan, S.C., 81-67, in Thursday’s opening round, built a 31-24 halftime lead against the host Wildcats (10-1) and had a 39-28 edge in the third and fourth quarters to reach the title game.
Ben Snider contributed 17 points – 15 in the second half – and pulled down 10 rebounds to record a double-double. He made three 3s.
Jacqueze Robinson added 11 points, including two 3s. Daaron Maston had nine points, all coming on 3-pointers. Although he had just one point, Andrew Ware was busy on the backboards with eight rebounds.
Ernest Heywood led West Ashley with 19 points and Daquan Gleen had 16.
Ooltewah 16 15 22 17 – 70
West Ashley 14 10 17 11 – 52
Ooltewah (70) – Antonio Jackson 24, Jacqueze Robinson 11, Ware 1, Ben Snider 17, Maston 9, Presley 6, Fritz 2.
West Ashley (52) – Fields 2, Sobiesvo 8, Zorn 7, Ernest Heywood 19, Daquan Gleen 16, Brown.
3-point goals: Ooltewah 11 (Snider 3, Maston 3, Presley 2, Jackson 2, Robinson 1)
(E-mail Larry Fleming at email@example.com)