OKEECHOBEE — Demetrius Clark had 25 points as Okeechobee jumped out to a 40-22 halftime lead and went on to defeat Big Lake rival Pahokee, 72-61, in high school basketball action Friday.
Antawyn Fludd had 12 points and six assists and Shaquoy Ferrol added 10 points and five rebounds for OHS, (3-0). Tyrin Ammette had 11 points and two steals for Pahokee (0-1).
Okeechobee led 23-15 after the first quarter, and 61-47 at the end of the third quarter.
Brahman Coach Demetri Riles said his team played tough in a physical battle but didn’t get flustered.
“We allowed too many points. I understand we won, but we allowed too many easy layups. That is not how we play basketball,” he noted.
Pahokee had athletes and got their share of rebounds but couldn’t hit open jump shots in the game. Neither team was able to get many points on transition.
Coach Riles said this was the first time his team had trailed in a game and he was glad with how they responded.
“We showed that we could take a punch. It was a bit of a surprise but it showed our guys they have to fight and we can’t be playing from behind.”
Louis Barnes had 10 points and five rebounds for Pahokee and Lawnkeeviuos McFadden added six points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Fred Bradley had six points and five rebounds for Okeechobee before he fouled out. Power forward Lashawn Mosley was also in foul trouble throughout and he fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Okeechobee could have won by a much larger margin but missed 15 free throws in the second half.
Coach Riles said free throw shooting will be emphasized at future practices. He called it a lack of concentration and playing around too much on the court.
Ferrol battled a thumb injury he suffered earlier in the week. Kielbasa helped in the first half as he scored 10 points before the break which included two long three-point baskets.
Coach Riles said he is very confident in his bench and knows he can get quality minutes when he needs them.
Clark said it felt good to get the win and the team is working harder during practice so they can finish games.
“We like to keep it going and keep it moving and last year we didn’t work as hard in practice. This year we are working on finishing off games,” he noted.
Clark said the team played a ‘little lazy’ but they all know that defense will put games away.
“It was fun out there, we come out here to play hard and have fun. I think the entire team likes to play defense,” he explained.
The Brahman junior varsity held off Pahokee, 56-50, and the freshman team also was victorious on Friday.
The Brahmans played at Hardee on Monday. They will travel to Sebring on Monday, Nov. 30 and return home on Dec. 1 to play district foe Jensen Beach.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News