Peebles battles five quarters with Oak Hill –
By Mark Carpenter –
Peebles varsity boys head coach Josh Arey has never shied away from playing tough competition, be it in the pre-season or regular season, and his Indians began their 2017-18 season with a pretty tough scrimmage partner, entertaining the Oak Hill Oaks on Saturday, Nov. 11.
The Oaks are primed to be one of the top teams in southeast Ohio in the 2017-18 season, bringing a nice mix of size, speed, and shooters and a definite challenge to the Tribe as they opened their pre-season schedule.
“Oak Hill is really good, with four starters back and a transfer who averaged 18 a game,” said Coach Arey. “I thought as the scrimmage went on we got better, but we will get there with a lot of things we need to continue to work on.”
The two teams played a series of five 10-minute quarters, and an unofficial count from Peebles assistant coach Dayne Puckett, had Oak Hill outscoring the Indians 91-80 overall.
In the opening quarter, the Oaks raced to a quick 11-3 advantage before the combined efforts on offense of Tanner Arey and Bostin Robinson got the Indians untracked, but the closest Peebles could get was 22-14 as the Oaks claimed quarter number one 25-14.
The second 10 minutes of play was more competitive from the home point of view as a stick back score from Arey along with a jumper from the ultra-talented Peebles senior put the Indians up 6-3 early. Oak Hill rallied to take the lead but baskets by Robinson and Weston Browning tied things up at 10, but the Oaks scored seven of the next nine points to win another frame 17-12.
In the third stanza of action, an Arey three-point play, and jumpers by Conner browning and Colten Ball put Peebles on top 11-4, but again the Indians couldn’t hold the advantage as the Oaks drilled a trio of three-point goals to pull within one and then got an offensive board and score to lead 15-14. A jumper by Robinson at the horn was off target as the Oaks made it three quarter wins in a row.
Coach Arey broke out some full court pressure in the fourth period and again took a lead, and Arey free throws made it 16-15 Peebles with 3.5 seconds left. The Indians’ defense then fell asleep as the Oaks inbounded the ball and two passes later were shooting an uncontested layup at the buzzer that gave them a 17-16 win.
“The press is something we’re still working on, but it got us a few turnovers and got us moving a little bit and worked out well for us,” said Arey.
Perhaps frustrated that they had not won a quarter of action yet, the Indians played very well in their final 10 minutes of action in the scrimmage, leading throughout, getting nice play on the offensive end from Blake Smalley and a pair of three-pointers from Arey. A pair of Weston Browning free throws closed out the varsity portion of the scrimmage and the Indians finally claimed a quarter, winning it 24-17.
“I thought most of our guys got better as the day went along, we got some nice penetration from Weston Browning and I liked some things I saw from Blake Smalley. Rebounding will define us this season and we did a much better job of checking out as the scrimmage progressed. Of our top eight kids, we only have three who were on the varsity floor last year and it’s all new to Colten Ball, but he has made some great strides.”
Peebles fans who want to see their Tribe in action can see them on their home court on Friday, Nov. 24 as they host the annual Southern Hills Athletic Conference Preview and will be in action at 9 p.m. facing the Eastern Warriors.