Blair Oaks gets past Linn

Brandon Moore, (14), drives past two Linn Wildcat defenders during the first half Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, in Wardsville.

Brandon Moore, (14), drives past two Linn Wildcat defenders during the first half Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, in Wardsville. Photo by Kelley McCall.

In a battle of state-ranked teams that are a mirror of one another, something had to give.

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Daniel McCarty fights for the ball during the second half against the Linn Wildcats Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, in Wardsville.

Fortunately for Blair Oaks, it was a late 12-0 run that helped the Falcons fend off Linn for a 57-45 win in a physical game Friday night.

“It took awhile for us to feel each other out and kind of get a sense for the way the game was being played,” Blair Oaks coach Ryan Fick said. “It was a very physical game, it was a classic. Both teams came in and worked extremely hard and we were fortunate enough there at the end to get some separation.”

Linn, ranked seventh in Class 2, erased an 11-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter and whittled it down to 42-37 with less than five minutes to play.

It was what the Wildcats needed after they struggled knocking down shots in the second and third quarters, hitting only 3-of-22 from the field and scoring a combined 13 points.

But the Falcons, ranked 10th in Class 3, didn’t led the Wildcats (12-4) get any closer, as Blair Oaks (13-3) ripped off 12 straight points to take a comfortable 54-37 lead with under two minutes to play.

Daniel McCarty sparked the run by converting a three-point play. Blair Oaks hit seven more free throws during that stretch and finished the quarter going 14-for-19 from the charity stripe.

“We shot the ball well at the free-throw line and that kind of allowed us to gain some distance,” Fick said.

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