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Oakville High boys' basketball team finding the recipe for success with first-year coach

If Oakville Senior High School boys' basketball coach Kenny Ash, had a recipe for success, it would be the following:

Pour in a good deal of hard work and mix in a little consistency and the fruits of success will be the end result.

The Tigers (5-4) lacked that little bit of consistency last Saturday evening as they dropped a 57-53 decision to Columbia-Rock Bridge.

Despite the loss, Ash believes that the Tigers are beginning to become the type of team that the first-year coach desires.

"Right now, we're only playing hard three of four quarters," Ash told the Call. "We had a chance to win the game last night, we're just not finishing like we need to."

Oakville found itself down 18-10 after the first quarter of action, yet trimmed Rock Bridge's eight-point lead down to six by halftime as the Columbia-Rock Bridge held a 34-28 lead over the Tigers.

"Playing hard four quarters is going to be the difference for this team," Ash said. "We've got a lot more games to play and the kids are grasping what we're trying to do. Their attitude and overall team spirit is high because they really want to get it done."

Oakville's Drew Martin was one of three Tigers who scored in double figures with 15 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Ash believes that getting the ball more to Martin could be another key to the Tigers' success this season.

"If we could have gotten him the ball more, things may have been different on the other end of the stick," Ash said. "Drew's been working really hard to get open and we're just not getting him the ball."

Also scoring in double figures for Oak-ville Todd Kulage with 11 points, two assists and one rebound. The senior guard battled throughout the evening with a stomach virus, which drew much praise from Ash.

"Todd's one tough kid," Ash said. "He was drained, but was such a trooper and played one heck of a game for us."

The third Oakville player to score in double figures was junior guard/forward Matt McKiernan, who garnered 10 points and three rebounds.

"Matt comes off the bench and brings us that spark that we sometimes lack," Ash said. "He takes the ball to the rack and makes things happen."

The Tigers return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Parkway South in their second Suburban South Conference match of the season.

"They (Parkway South) are a lot like Rock Bridge in that they have a lot of guards that can handle the ball and shoot it," Ash said. "What we're going to need to do is dominate the game on the inside."

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