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No. 1 Oak Hill routs No. 12 Prestonwood Christian, 88-55

“We just like to have fun,” Adams said. “We won, so it was time to have fun. Coach stressed out a lot in practice and pre-game. We really wanted to win to stay undefeated. After losing here two years in a row, we wanted to come out hard.”

It’s hard to feel disrespected when you’re 27-0 and the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY Super 25 boys basketball rankings, but when Prestonwood Christian forward Julius Randle said on his blog he was looking forward to giving No. 1 Oak Hill its first loss, that was all the motivation the Warriors needed.

“We were a little pumped up because of what he wrote,” said Adams, who led Oak Hill with 23 points, including five three-pointers. “We just wanted to come out and impose our will.”

Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), after slow starts that led to losses the past two years at the Hoophall Classic, outscored No. 12 Prestonwood (Plano, Texas) 22-8 in the first quarter. The Warriors’ backcourt was particularly effective. Besides Adams, Lewis had 15 points and nine assists and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 16 points.

“When those three are playing and Adams and Smith-Rivera are making shots, we are hard to beat,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said. “I thought we were much better than them in the backcourt tonight.”

Randle had 23 points and nine rebounds, but he had to work hard for his points and no other Lion scored in double figures. Oak Hill used a variety of zones to slow Randle and Warriors center A.J. Hammons kept him from getting close to the basket.

“He was going to get his touches, but I was going to make sure he didn’t get anything easy,” Hammons said. “Stay in his way, bump him, make him tired.”

On Thursday, Oak Hill was sluggish in a 87-57 defeat at home against Christian Faith (Creedmor, N.C.), a team not as skilled as Prestonwood Christian, which won the prestigious City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., in December. Before Saturday’s game, Oak Hill’s players told Smith he was more nervous than they were.

“I don’t know why they said that,” Smith said. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I don’t get nervous, but for some reason, they thought I was nervous. Maybe because I was more intense in the pre-game. They don’t get nervous. They’re always telling me, ‘Coach you get all upset when we play these teams that we’re supposed to beat and then, when we play a team like this, we always show up. I tell them, ‘I don’t like it like that. I want you showing up every night.’ “

Oak Hill’s win wasn’t one of three victories for ranked teams Saturday in the Hoophall Classic.

No. 3 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) handed Northwest Catholic (West Hartford, Conn.) its first loss, 78-57 as BeeJay Anya had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Stags (15-0). Northwest (8-1) was led by Zach Lewis with 23 points.

“Their record got our players attention,” DeMatha coach Mike Jones said. “We took them very seriously and came out fast.”

No. 11 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) defeated Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.) 77-65 as junior forward Kris Jenkins had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles (14-0). Jenkins credits his mother Felecia, who played at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C., and is the head women’s basketball coach at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., for improving his shooting.

“My jump shot definitely comes from my mom,” Jenkins said. “She tells me I have to stay consistent, put in hard work and stay confident. She’s someone I always call when I’m struggling to shoot the ball.”

Riverside (13-6) was led by power forward Ricardo Gathers with 22 points and eight rebounds. He also briefly sent Jenkins to the bench with a bloody lip on a hard drive to the basket.

“I was just trying to collect myself because Ricardo is a big guy,” Jenkins said. “I was able to shake it off and get back there with my teammates. We just wanted to make it difficult for him to score. We can live with somebody making tough shots.”

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