The Great Oak Wolfpack added another win to their record (16-6, 5-1) to firmly secure second place in the Southwestern League as they outran the Murrieta Mesa Rams (11-11, 2-4) 82-56 in a rare Saturday league game. “We had a hole in our floor that needed to be repaired,” said Great Oak coach Robert Hickey, pointing to the free throw line, “so we postponed the game until Saturday night. I wish we could play more Saturday night games.”
Hickey predicted a fast running game between the two athletic teams. He was right as the two teams combined for 138 points in thirty-two minutes.
Brooklen McCarty’s putback basket put the Murrieta Mesa Rams up by two, 4-2. It was their only lead of the game and it was over on the next possession as Great Oak’s Latrelle Franklin buried a three en route to a 22-8 first quarter by the Wolfpack. Great Oak went on a 17-0 run until the Rams called timeout at the 2:30 mark.
Shondell Smith’s 15-point effort in the second quarter helped the Rams to a 20-19 advantage in the quarter, but the Rams went into the halftime break down fifteen points, 43-28. Great Oak had made 14-of-16 free throws in the first half.
“I told our guys we wanted to extend the lead in the third quarter,” said Wolfpack head coach Robert Hickey, “Shondell is a very good player and Brandon Presley did a good job defending him in the second half.” Great Oak took an 11-5 lead in the first three minutes prompting a Rams’ timeout. Great Oak dominated the quarter 23-14. Smith was held to four free throws, two on a technical foul. Smith was the leading scorer on the night with 27 points, despite having only two field goals in the second half.
“They shot a higher shooting percentage and outworked on us 50/50 balls,” said Rams’ head coach Antwan DeLa-Paul, “ They are a very quick and athletic team.”
Chris Foster, with eight points, accounted for half the Wolfpack scoring in the final period. Three-point buckets by Josh Cooper and Franklin’s third of the night accounted for six more points. Franklin led the Wolfpack with 23 points. “This was our highest output of the season,” said Hickey, “Our guys played hard.”
Great Oak is on the road next week against Vista Murrieta on Tuesday and Chaparral on Thursday. Murrieta Mesa is also on the road, facing Murrieta valley on Tuesday and Temecula Valley on Thursday. Game time is 7 pm for all teams.