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Oak Hill opens 2016 season with OT victory

  |   October 22, 2015  |   Mars Reel

Oak Hill Academy played in their first exhibition against Bluefield College on Tuesday night at Northwood High School.

The outcome would be a 93-88 overtime victory for Oak Hill thanks to a spectacular performance by Braxton Key, who scored five of his 16 points in overtime helping Oak Hill Academy outlast Bluefield College.

Per The Herald Courier:

“He’s one of the few players that we have, whether he’s scoring or not, he does a lot on the floor,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith. “He’ll rebound, he’ll guard, he can handle the ball. He’s really strong with and without the basketball and makes smart plays.”

Key is the No. 66 player in the 2016 ESPN 100 rankings, and recently announced on Wednesday that he will attend Alabama next season.

The former “Mr. Basketball” from Nashville, Tennessee, selected the Crimson Tide after also considering Vanderbilt, Texas and Kansas.

This exhibition would be the nations first-look at the VA-based basketball powerhouse for the 2015-16 season.

Oak Hill went 47-1 last year and finished as a runner-up in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals, falling to Montverde Academy.

Under the direction of legendary head coach Steve Smith, the Warriors have been recognized as high school basketball's national champion nine times over. Will this year make ten?

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The Warriors were also without two key players on Tuesday night – Harry Giles, recognized by many scouting services as the nation’s top recruit and Penn State commit Joe Hampton, due to injuries.

The 6'10” senior is currently considering Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Wake Forest.

According to USA Today HS Sports, Giles arrival at Oak Hill Academy marks the first time coach Smith has ever coached the #1 player in the country.

Per USA Today HSS:

Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) coach Steve Smith has had seven undefeated seasons, won multiple national titles and coached countless NBA All Stars, even one NBA MVP; yet, when Harry Giles III gets to campus later this month it’ll mark the first time Smith has coached a player ranked No. 1 in the country.

Oak Hill looks even stronger than last year with the addition of Giles; who moved to Mouth of Wilson, Va from Wesleyan Christian Academy where he averaged 24 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

According to a journal entry on Oak Hill Hoops, Giles' decision to attend Oak Hill resulted from his urge to prioritize school and basketball; we're guessing the extra five pounds of muscle was an added bonus.

Oak Hill's next game is on Thursday in Floyd, VA where they face Huntington Prep.



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