Blair Oaks pulls down 24 offensive rebounds to blow by Cole Camp

In boys basketball

Blair Oaks senior Logan Bax (3) goes up for a layup between Cole Camp defenders during Thursday night’s game in Wardsville. The Falcons won 78-53.

Blair Oaks senior Logan Bax (3) goes up for a layup between Cole Camp defenders during Thursday night’s game in Wardsville. The Falcons won 78-53. Katie Alaimo

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — Using a relentless attack on the offensive glass, the Blair Oaks Falcons created numerous chances to score Thursday night and made the most of it in a 78-53 win against the Cole Camp Bluebirds.

Out of the Falcons’ 38 rebounds in the contest, a whopping 24 of them came on the offensive end. Nine different Blair Oaks players had at least one offensive carom, and two different players had all of their rebounds on the offensive end — Chandler Haxton’s six and Logan Bax’s four.

It helped the Falcons squeeze off 76 shots in the contest — or 2.4 for every minute of game time — and they scored 20 points or more in three of the four quarters.

“Lately we’ve done a good job of being relentless on the offensive glass, which is creating a bunch of extra opportunities,” Blair Oaks coach Ryan Fick said. “We’ve got guys just flying around, making plays on that end, hustling down loose balls.

“… These guys are starting to buy into how, over the course of a season, there will be nights you’re not going to shoot very well. On those nights, it’s even more important to crash the glass and create more opportunities.”

That point was obvious from the start. Even though Cole Camp outshot Blair Oaks 46 percent to 38 percent in the first quarter, it was a bit misleading. That’s because the Falcons were 8-of-21 from the floor compared to 6-of-13 for the Bluebirds, and Blair Oaks led 20-13.

The only time the Falcons seemed to be in trouble was, after taking a 5-1 lead, they gave up 10 of the next 11 points to the Bluebirds. But Blair Oaks righted the ship with an 11-0 run to take control.

“We weren’t getting the ball pressure on the top of our press that we needed and their guards were able to just look down the floor, unaffected, and pick us apart,” Fick said. “Our guys on the second wave had to commit, which left our back guy guarding a 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 several times, and there are a lot of high-school teams that are going to convert in those situations.

“Once we went to a man press, we kind of locked down and did a much better job.”

The Falcons kept the pressure on at the start of the second quarter, beginning it with a 19-3 run that gave them their biggest lead of the first half at 39-16.

One play in the middle of that spurt perfectly encapsulated the night for Blair Oaks, where a missed 3-pointer resulted in yet another offensive rebound and, eventually, an easy layup.

“That play really sticks out in my mind,” Fick said. “Seth (Eskens) chases down the rebound at halfcourt, saves it inbounds to Logan Bax and Logan makes a great pass to Ryan (Wilbers) under the basket.”

That was part of 11 second-quarter points for Wilbers and one of a baker’s dozen worth of assists for Bax, as he spread the 13 out among almost all his teammates.

“He’s averaging double-figure assists the last five games,” Fick said. “That’s what we expected of him going into the season. Guys are starting to understand when the ball’s coming, where it’s coming from, and you’ve got to have your hands ready all the time because he’s going to find you when you’re open.”

Blair Oaks took a 41-23 lead into the locker room and the teams played to a 17-all stalemate in the third quarter.

The Falcons then took their biggest lead at 74-44 when Wilbers tipped in a miss with 4:27 left, got fouled and went to the line and converted the free throw.

Blair Oaks had eight different players score in the contest, with four of them reaching double figures. Wilbers led the way with 16, while Joey Bernskoetter and Kory Franks added 15 apiece. Haxton chipped in with 12.

“Something we’ve talked about is passing up good shots to get great shots, and I thought that’s what we did tonight,” Fick said. “As we go into the season, we’ve got to be able to perform against whatever kind of defense we see, and I think we’re at the point where we’re as comfortable against zones as we are against man-to-man.”

Tanner Oelrichs and Alex Pritzel paced Cole Camp with 15 points apiece, while Tyler Ward added 10.

Blair Oaks (14-3) returns to action today at Linn.

In Thursday’s JV game, Blair Oaks posted a 64-31 win. Jordan Hair had 17 points for the Falcons (6-2) and Owen Luebbering added 10.

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