ESPN Dallas: Oak Hill neutralizes Prestonwood
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) point guard Tyler Lewis doesn’t take too kindly to empty promises or trash talk so when he read Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle’s ESPNHS blog prior to the Warriors’ matchup against Randle, Lewis and his teammates weren’t happy.
In the blog, Randle said he was happy that the Warriors were undefeated because it would give the Lions a chance to “give them their first loss.”
Warriors’ coach Steve Smith had D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera read the statement aloud to the team last Wednesday and after that he taped it up in the Warriors’ locker room.
“We didn’t like that blog too much,” said Lewis, a senior who is signed to North Carolina State. “It motivated us. We wanted to make sure that we dominated this game. We didn’t just want to win; we wanted to blow them out.”
Lewis made sure of that.
He scored 15 points and handed out 10 assists to lead the Warriors, ranked No. 2 in the POWERADE FAB 50, past the No. 19 Lions, 85-55, Saturday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Smith-Rivera added 16 points and Jordan Adams, a senior shooting guard who is signed to UCLA, led Oak Hill with 23. Randle led Prestonwood with 23 points and nine rebounds.
“If you’re gonna say something like that then at least come out and give us a game,” Lewis said. “We definitely used it as motivation. I think it added to our quick start.”
Lewis had the Warriors rolling from the opening tip, finding A.J. Hammons in the paint for a monster slam then draining a deep three before dropping it off to Hammons once again for another dunk.
The Warriors never let off after that.
With Lewis at the controls, Oak Hill got out in transition and knocked down five 3-pointers in the first half in route to a commanding 39-24 halftime lead.
“It was important for us to start off hot,” said Smith-Rivera, a senior combo guard who is signed to Georgetown. “After that first half we knew that we were gonna just keep pouring it on. We were in a groove.”
The Warriors opened the second half on a 14-4 run, thwarting any hope of a spirited rally.
“I respect what Julius said in his blog on some level,” Smith-Rivera said. “I mean he’s a competitor and I am too so I know that’s how I would feel. But we’ve got a squad over here. You don’t want to give us any more fuel than when already have.”
When asked if he would have made the same statements in retrospect, Randle immediately answered, “Yes.”
“I have a lot of respect for that team and it wasn’t meant as disrespect to them at all,” said Randle, who is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. “It was more me believing in my team and coming into the game with a confidence in my teammates. They have a great program and if that was what motivated them, so be it.”