OAK HILL – The Oak Hill Lady Oaks could not overcome a slow start and a second-quarter 14 point offensive explosion by Haidyn Wamsley, who led all scorers with 21 points.

These factors contributed to Oak Hill’s 45-32 Southern Ohio Conference Division II loss at home on Thursday night.

The 19 points the Lady Mowaks scored in the second quarter proved pivotal. When the second quarter started, Northwest was holding an 8-7 lead.

As the score indicated, the action was slow in the first quarter. Northwest took a 4-0 lead on free throws by Valerie Copas. Oak Hill finally got a track and took a brief 7-6 lead on a three-pointer by Baylee Howell, who led the Lady Oaks with 10 points.

Oak Hill’s lead did not last as Regan Lewis scored to give the Lady Mohawks an 8-7 lead. 

In the second quarter, Wamsley got hot, as she connected on four 3-pointers and a field goal to account for the 14 point quarter tally. Her offensive production went a long way toward building a 27-14 halftime lead.

Oak Hill Head Coach Doug Hale commented on the second quarter and how it impacted the game.

“During the last four minutes of the second quarter, the wheels fell off,” said Hale. “They splashed four consecutive three-point shots and stretched it out.

“Our kids just seemed like they stopped moving. It's frustrating, because we have made a lot of advances, but we took a  step back tonight. Give Northwest credit. They probably played one of their better games of the year.”

As the third quarter started, Oak Hill got a quick bucket from Chambers and McCain to cut the deficit to 27-18. The Lady Oaks continued to hang around after a shot by Olivia Clarkson with 23 seconds left to close within 12 at 35-23 going into the final quarter.

Free throw shooting was important for Northwest down the stretch as they sank 6 of 9 shots in the quarter to preserve the win.

Overall, the Lady Mohawks were 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) from the charity stripe, while Oak Hill converted 5 of 8 (62.5 percent) free throws.

Oak Hill shot 34.2 percent (12 of 35) from the field, including 3 of 10 from three-point range.

Olivia Clarkson led the Lady Oaks with seven rebounds.

Hale and the Lady Oaks will get right back to work and focus on getting off to a better start.

“In our last two home games, we struggled coming out the gate,” Hale stated. “We are playing the second half but we need a better beginning.”

The Lady Oaks return to SOC Division II play on Monday at Minford in a varsity-only contest, starting at 5 p.m.