Oakville High boys avenge tough loss, claim third place at holiday tournament
January 05, 2005 - By STEPHEN GLOVER
For the Call
When the Oakville Senior High boys' basketball team suffered a disappointing 72-60 loss to Eisenhower High School in the first round of the Collinsville Invita-tional last week, the Tigers realized that they had something to prove.
Oakville (9-2, 1-1 Suburban West) ripped through the consolation bracket of the tournament with a 57-45 win over Madi-son high School of Illinois and a 42-37 victory over Chatham Glenwood to reach the third-place game against Triad.
"The first night (loss to Eisenhower) was an initial shock," Oakville head coach Kenny Ash told the Call. "But a testament to our kids is that we came back and won three games in a row."
Oakville capped its three-game win- streak with a 70-45 thrashing of Triad.
"Triad is a very talented team actually," Ash said. "I was really impressed to see these kids step up and do what they did in this tournament."
Oakville's Casey Noll led all scorers with 26 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one steal. The junior forward averages a team leading 15.6 points and 10.5 re-bounds a game this season.
"Casey's really starting to come into his own," Ash said. "If we're going to have any success, we're going to have to see Casey and Drew (Martin) work together."
Martin notched 16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and one steal. The senior center averages 14.5 points and 8.6 rebounds a game this season.
"One of Drew's strengths is that he's so unselfish," Ash said. "He's really a team player that will do anything to give our team an advantage."
Senior guard Matt McKiernan registered 16 points with two steals and one assist, which was above his 13.5 points a game this season. McKiernan leads the team in steals with 16 and is third in assists with 28.
"Matt really forces the defense to come out and guard us," Ash said. "When he's hitting shots from outside, it makes us that more dangerous."
The Tigers also welcomed the return of sophomore guard Dwayne Pickens, who scored seven points with five rebounds, two steals and one assist. Pickens had been sidelined from a knee injury sustained during the football season.
"When he (Pickens) got out there in the third game of the tournament, he really energized our team," Ash said. "He's a hard-nosed kid that's going to be key for us this season."
Oakville travels to Parkway South for a Suburban West Conference clashing with the Patriots at 7 p.m. Friday.
"They (Parkway South) have got a little bit of experience at the guard position so it's going to be a tough ball game at their place," Ash said.
"Parkway South's losses have been against some very good ballclubs. They'll be prepared for us and it'll be a dog fight for sure."