OKEECHOBEE — Cheyenne Nunez scored 22 points and Shyteria Ash had a double-double with 15 points and over 10 rebounds as Okeechobee defeated Jensen Beach 54-41 in high school girls basketball action Monday night at OHS.
The win pushed Okeechobee to a 6-1 start.
Coach Joe Smith said the girls fell behind early but showed some character and determination as they rallied to take the lead in the second half.
“Tonight we just put it all together, tonight this team showed heart and resiliency,” he noted. “We were down most of the first half. This was the first time we overcame a deficit, usually we jump out on opponents and keep the lead. This was one of those games we had to show what we were made of and what we had down inside our heart.”
The game was a double win for Okeechobee as it got them off to a good start in district play. Every game will be important should Okeechobee reach the regionals for the first time in many years.
They also want some momentum for their next game versus South Fork, the district favorite, on Nov. 30.
Smith applauded his team leaders in the senior class who really increased their effort in the second half.
“We are not going to let another team come in and take over. I feel we showed real character tonight.”
Nunez said the team focused on getting the job done. She said practices are grueling and difficult and the work put in allows them to win ball games.
“We weren’t as strong mentally and pieces were missing in the past. We’re serious about it now. We want to win games,” she added.
Nunez said every game with Jensen Beach is a battle and a good rivalry.
“It doesn’t matter who we play. We just want to do our jobs correctly and get the win.”
Ariana Gregg had 16 points to lead Jensen Beach (1-5).
Senior guard Lahna Baker said a district game is always a big game and Okeechobee has to push to win those.
“We knew we had to come back twice as hard as Jensen, get our heads in the game and put the ball in the basket. You can’t get down in this game because that never helps.”
Coach Smith noted the team has already matched last year’s win total. He continues to work the girls hard so that they treat every game as an important game so they can maximize their win total this year.
OHS boys basketball team blasts Hardee
OKEECHOBEE — Demetrius Clark led five Brahmans in double figures with 25 points as the Okeechobee Brahmans blasted the Hardee Wildcats 86-71 in high school boys hoops action Monday night in Wauchula.
Clark hit three long range jumpers and Okeechobee jumped out to a 27-7 first quarter lead and never trailed in the game.
The victory pushed Okeechobee’s record to 4-0 while Hardee fell to 1-4.
Okeechobee shot 50 percent from the floor in the game. Shaquoy Ferrol had 22 points and 16 rebounds. Fred Bradley had 13 points. Antawyn Fludd had 12 points, eight assists and five steals. Lashawn Mosley had 10 points and five rebounds.
Kysell Richardson had six assists off the bench for the Brahmans.
Okeechobee led 44-31 at halftime and 66-55 at the end of the third quarter.
Coach Demetri Riles said he was proud of how his team played defense and how they started the game Monday in a hostile environment.
“We jumped out pretty good. Our defense took away their outside shooting game because I knew Hardee could shoot.”
Riles said his team makes statements when they come out and hold another team to seven points in a quarter on their home court. “That was impressive defense in the first quarter. We put teams to rest that way.”
Riles said his offense was solid with balanced scoring from all his starters. He said Ferrol was tough down low in the post and Clark was solid from the outside. He said Fludd had an excellent all-around game and Richardson came off the bench to provide solid play on offense and defense.
“Hardee was no pushover team. They tried to come back. They are well coached. We were just a little too much for them. The buzz around town is Okeechobee has a pretty good team,” he added.
The Brahman junior varsity was also victorious. Riles said Robert Futch and Sean Osceola continue to play well for the JV team.
Future games for the Brahmans include a road date with Sebring on Monday, Nov. 30, a home game against Jensen Beach on Dec. 1, and another district game at home on Friday, Dec. 4 against Bayside.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News