OHS basketball team dominates season opener

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Brahman boys basketball team kicked off the 2018-19 season with a dominating victory over the Lincoln Park Academy Greyhounds on Nov. 27, winning 79-29 in front of a packed crowd at the OHS gymnasium.

The Brahmans had 43 rebounds in their game against Lincoln Park Academy on Nov. 27. Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion.

The Brahmans scored early and often to start the game and by the end of the first quarter Lincoln Park found itself down 24-7. While the Brahmans had plenty of offense in their season opener, including multiple crowd-pleasing dunks and three-point shots, their defense might have put on the most impressive display of the night. Okeechobee played an aggressive full-court press defense against Lincoln Park that the Greyhounds had no answer for. Throughout the game the Brahmans had 17 steals compared to Lincoln Park’s two.

Even though the Brahmans jumped out to a large 43-18 lead by halftime, they stuck with their tenacious defense throughout the second half. Brahmans head coach Demetre Riles said he expects his team to perform their game plan no matter what the scoreboard says.

“I tell my team that we’re not only competing against our opponent in games like this, we’re working on ourselves,” explained Riles. “We’re working on playing good team basketball and getting after it on defense. I have different alignments I will put into the game and I expect them to go in and execute. I have a bunch of good players and they need to play. So when they’re in the game it’s not garbage minutes, they need to maximize their time so we’re ready and prepared when we go into the playoffs.”

“We expected to come out and play hard tonight,” continued Riles. “On paper Lincoln Park matched up well with us, but we counted on our big guys and this team plays well together so I expected this kind of outcome tonight.”

Overall against the Greyhounds Okeechobee had 43 rebounds, 13 assists, and three blocks.

The Brahmans had a field goal percentage of 47 and a free-throw percentage of 55.

Now Okeechobee moves on to a big district game against the Sebastian River Sharks. Last year the Brahmans didn’t lose many games on their way to a final record of 20-7, but one of those seven losses came to district foe Sebastian River. In that game Okeechobee fell behind early, and despite a late rally that saw the Brahmans put up 20 points in the fourth quarter, Sebastian River sent OHS home with a 56-49 loss.

“I feel comfortable with my team coming into this game,” said Riles of the Sebastian River match. “It’ll be a good test for us for all four quarters against a district foe. It’s a rivalry, you know? We’re going to be ready. We’ve been ready for that game for awhile.”

Okeechobee will be taking on district rival Sebastian River on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the OHS gymnasium.

Okeechobee High School senior Jemal Davis recently signed on to play basketball at Warner University at the college level. Davis is one of the leaders on a Brahman team that intends to make a deep playoff run in 2018-19. Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion.

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