OHS brings down Eagles in OT, then exorcises the Blue Devils

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Brahmans boys basketball team completed a comeback, overtime victory against the Centennial Eagles 79-74 on Dec. 8 at Okeechobee High School.

It was Okeechobee’s first home game of the season, and the local crowd that came out to support the Brahmans was treated to a spectacular game.

After falling behind 34-25 during the first half, the Brahmans had a huge third quarter and rallied to take the lead, 52-48.

The Eagles had to fight back into the game in the fourth quarter to tie it at 67 before the final buzzer.

In overtime, the Brahman defense shutdown the Eagle offense, allowing only seven points while Okeechobee put up 12 of its own to win the game. OHS coach Demetre Riles made the call to change defenses, which led to the Brahmans getting themselves back in position to win.

OHS senior Malcolm Chambers lays the ball up over a Pahokee defender during the Brahmans’ 71-64 victory over the Blue Devils on Dec. 11. Photo by Richard Marion.

“They were killing us in man-to-man,” Riles explained, “as well as the zone. So we switched to a full-court press and started creating some turnovers. Everybody played their part. It was a team victory.”

Okeechobee and Centennial have a history of close games. The Brahmans won 2016’s game 64-63, while the Eagles took 2014’s game 55-54.

The dramatic win put the Brahmans at 5-0 as they headed into their game against the Pahokee Blue Devils on Dec. 11 at Pahokee High School. The Brahmans won their last meet-up with the Blue Devils in 2015 by a score of 72-61.

Pahokee came into the game at 0-5, with its most painful loss coming in a Dec. 1 match against Atlantic Christian that saw the Blue Devils fall in overtime 44-43.

Okeechobee couldn’t have had a better start against Pahokee, as the Brahmans put up 29 points in the first quarter alone, while only allowing the Blue Devils to score 2.

OHS sophomore Jemal Davis was on fire in the first quarter, putting up 18 points. Pahokee looked completely outmatched, as they couldn’t stop the Brahman offense and couldn’t hit any of their shots.

The hometown Pahokee crowd would groan after every Blue Devil missed shot and turnover.

The Blue Devils gained some momentum in the second and third quarters, but they never really threatened the Brahmans and Okeechobee came away with the victory, 71-64.

Now sitting at a perfect 6-0, the Brahmans stay on the road to play at Immokalee on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

“I put my guys on the road to test them,” said Riles. “Because in order to go on to the state finals, you have to be able to play on the road in a hostile environment. I’m always trying to keep them competitive, keep them playing and keep them moving.”


OHS senior Kysell Richardson defends against a Pahokee player during the Brahmans 71-64 victory on Dec. 11. Okeechobee shut down Pahokee in the first quarter, allowing only two points. Photo by Richard Marion.

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