Blair Oaks rolls to victory against Hermann

WARDSVILLE — The Blair Oaks Falcons waited more than a month to play their first home game of the basketball season.

The time away from home didn’t hurt them one bit.

The Falcons ripped the nets for 16 points or more in every quarter while cruising to an 84-44 win against Hermann on Friday night.

With quarter scores of 19, 29, 20 and 16 — the last one particularly impressive considering the final 7:15 of the game was played with a running clock due to the mercy rule — the Falcons were hitting on all cylinders. Five different Falcons scored in double figures and another one had nine points.

“I think the kids were excited to finally play at home after a month of the season, and you could see that excitement,” Blair Oaks coach Ryan Fick said. “It’s good to be able to get guys minutes and see the contributions up and down the line.”

The win also made Fick happy because it was a bounceback game for Blair Oaks.

“I was happy with the way we responded after a lethargic effort last Saturday at Moberly,” he said. “We had a good week of practice, we were able to evaluate that film and see some areas we had to work on.”

The Falcons never trailed, jumping out to an 11-2 lead after three minutes. The first quarter ended with them ahead 19-10, and that was just the start of the fireworks.

Blair Oaks followed that up with the 29-point second quarter, as the lead eventually reached 48-22. Seth Eskens hit three straight 3-pointers at one stage and ended up with 11 of his game-high 16 points in the quarter.

“It’s good to see us be able to spread the ball out,” Fick said. “We really do have an unselfish group and when we’ve got multiple guys hitting perimeter shots, it really extends the defense.”

The only downside in the period was a technical foul with 23 seconds left in the half, as the Bearcats hit both free throws and then drilled a 3 to go into the break down 48-27.

“We lost our composure a little bit at the end of the second quarter,” Fick said. “We talked at halftime about our composure and how important the first three to four minutes of the second half were to reestablish what we wanted to do offensively.”

It actually took them closer to six minutes to really get things rolling, but when Chandler Haxton made a layup at the 2:02 mark to make it 64-38, that matched the Falcons’ biggest lead to that point.

The advantage was 68-42 after three quarters and the Falcons held the Bearcats to just two points in the final period.

Blair Oaks forced Hermann into 28 turnovers in the contest.

“When we’re able to take advantage of some of our length and quickness and get a lot of deflections and make things happen in transition, that’s when we’re at our best,” Fick said. “It was good to see us get the tempo going in our favor.”

In addition to Eskens’ 16 points, Kory Franks had 14 and Ryan Wilbers had 13. Haxton chipped in with 12, Logan Bax had 11 and Joey Bernskoetter was close behind with nine.

“Lots of guys stepped up,” Fick said. “We’ve got the ability to have a bunch of different guys lead us in scoring on any given night. When we’re able to do that, we’re hard to guard, because it’s kind of pick your poison.”

Wilbers added a game-high nine rebounds.

“He came in with a lot of energy and that’s what we’re going to need from him as the season goes along,” Fick said. “He’s got that length, he gets his hands on a lot of rebounds and in our press, he’s so long he’s hard to throw over. He had a ton of deflections tonight. That’s what we need from him to be successful.”

The Falcons, who improved to 7-2, return to action today as part of a quadrupleheader at Fatima. Action gets under way with the JV girls at noon, followed by the JV boys, varsity girls and varsity boys.


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