HS Basketball: The Woodlands Struggles with Aggressive Oak Ridge Defense

By: Julio Varguez
| Published 01/15/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX –- Friday night the Oak Ridge War Eagles were at home to defend their nest against a powerhouse of a team, The Woodlands Highlanders. Led by Shey Eberwein, the Highlanders try to keep their winning streak alive and secure a top 3 place in the district. Although early in the district season, we are seeing some teams separate from the pack and become their own powerhouses.

The Oak Ridge strategy was to get into The Woodlands heads so they could force overthinking and mistakes. Another strategy was to double team and shut down The Woodlands’ threats like Eberwein (#2), Hwang (#11) and Sheldon (#5) just to name a few. By being physical and aggressive with the ball handler, Oak Ridge was able to shut down most of the attacks by The Woodlands and held them to just 13 points in the first quarter. Oak Ridge ended the first by making a couple of crucial shots to close the lead by 4, (9-13, Woodlands).

It was unlike The Woodlands to struggle like this against a team but Oak Ridge seemed to have figured out how to force mistakes and bad shots. By swarming the ball, the player seemed overwhelmed and wanted to just get rid of it by any means necessary. Frustrated by the Oak Ridge defense, The Woodlands struggled at the other end to keep the War Eagles from scoring.

“It was very physical,” said head coach Dale Reed of The Woodlands. He continued, “…by being real physical, it got our guys a little flustered in the first half but in the second half our guys regained their composure.”

In the second half, The Woodlands came out swinging and with composure dominated the 3rd quarter. Eberwein (#2) woke up and popped off some step up 3s, while Edwards (#4) also got himself a couple from downtown. The Woodlands outscored Oak Ridge 17-5 bringing the score to 24-38.

“Everybody stepped up and hit big shots…Chase hit 3s, Justin hit 3s and Aden hit 3s” said Coach Reed about the second half. “Everybody stepped up which then shifts that pressure away from Shey and then all of a sudden Shey got going.”

The 4th showed a shift in defense from Oak Ridge as they struggled to cover the crucial players. Unfortunately, The Woodlands lead was too much and Oak Ridge fell at home, 56-40. Oak Ridge is set to face Willis next Tuesday and The Woodlands is set to have its first rematch against Grand Oaks but this time at home.

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