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Morgan Hill
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December 2, 2021

Oakwood rides strong 2nd quarter to down Live Oak by 20

Live Oak did a good job of taking away Oakwood’s phenom point guard, but it couldn’t stop everyone as the Hawks rolled to a 67-47 win Tuesday night.
The Acorns fell to 1-9 overall as they now pivot to start West Valley Division play on Wednesday.
“We kind of beat ourselves,” said Live Oak coach Jeff Yeung. “I felt like we may have lost by 20, but we kind of gave them that game. … I felt like the whole game they were pretty dominate and for us to only be down by 13 at a certain point, that says a lot.”
Oakwood, meanwhile, has to get ready for the start of Coastal Athletic League play Thursday with a 4-8 overall mark, but a dwindling bench.
The Hawks had seven players to start Tuesday’s action but got solid contributions out of everyone, including Vijay Singh.
Singh put up 24 points, including 12 in the second quarter that gave Oakwood the lead for good.
“He’s played well for us for most of the preseason,” said Oakwood coach Kort Jensen. “… He’s had to play a lot for us and he’s come through every game. Tonight he shot the ball really well and I liked his rebounding.”
Singh finished with eight rebounds to lead Oakwood in that category.
In the early going, Live Oak forced Oakwood into some tough shots and the rim wasn’t kind.
The Acorns went down 6-0 quick, but closed out the half on a 14-7 run to take a one-point lead going the second quarter.
Oakwood opened the quarter with a bucket to take the lead back and never looked back.
Despite a trey from Joe Gobel to initially keep things close, Oakwood went on a 14-2 run to close out the half and Live Oak didn’t recover.
The Acorns were outscored 25-7 in the quarter and got the deficit down to below 10 just once the rest of the way.
“We just got on a run. I would love to tell you it was great coaching, I would love to tell you it was something, but we just got on a run,” Jensen said. “Basketball is momentum. We were fortunate to get on (a run) and they easily could have gone on one.”
Jensen said the real X-factor was the defense. He said his rotations were crisp and it forced Live Oak in to tough shots that didn’t fall.
Yeung said things really started to fall apart when the defense didn’t play as tightly as it had in the first quarter. That in turn got everything else out of whack and his team got behind.
“I just got done telling my guys, I don’t know what else to do to fix these issues. I can’t go out there and make layups for you guys and make shots for you guys,” Yeung said. “It’s a matter of execution. We got good looks we just couldn’t convert.”
Singh, meanwhile, had 12 more points in the second half, including going eight of nine from the line to help push Oakwood’s lead to 20, where it hovered.
Evan Richards had a strong third quarter, with six points as he finished with 18 on the night, followed by Ben Millward who had 12 points, thanks to his 10 first-half points.
Youssef Eshra was held to six points on the night, but helped get his teammates involved for three quarters.
Jensen gave credit to Live Oak for making sure there was a body on Eshra the entire night and it kept his point totals low.
Live Oak didn’t go down quietly, as the Acorns began to fight back in the fourth quarter despite entering the frame down by 21.
The Acorns got the deficit down to as little as 13 late in the quarter, but simply ran out of time.
Meanwhile, Oakwood ran into its own troubles as the Hawks turned the ball over seven times in the quarter, were hit with a technical foul and eventually finished with just five players available.
“We just couldn’t get defensive stops. I felt like we were trying to kickstart that momentum and then we’d give it right back,” Yeung said.
He said whenever Live Oak would make a play and get a bucket, the team would turn around and give points right back and then compound it with turnovers or fouls.
Eric Togliatti got the deficit down to 13 when he drained the fourth and final of his 3-pointers for the night. He finished with a team-high 16 on the night.
“We’ve got to get him going. He’s one of our seniors; (he’s) one of our leaders along with Symon Tan. It’s been great to have them return this year and kind of shepherd this team.”
Live Oak now has a quick turnaround, kicking off league play 7 p.m. at San Jose on Wednesday.
Oakwood, meanwhile, travels to Pacific Collegiate Friday to tip off Coastal Athletic League play with a 7 p.m. start.

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