DAYTON — A 9-0 run to start the third quarter, and a 14-4 scoring spree to end it, enabled host Oakwood to have enough of a scoring cushion to win, 64-43, over visiting Fairborn, Nov. 25 in the Jills famed Pit.
Originally built back in 1931, Oakwood’s basketball gym is quite literally in a pit with the grandstand seating up on the next level surrounding the floor. It reminds one of what Romans might’ve felt like as they watched brave gladiators battle to the finish below them.
Maybe the Romans built the pit. (Just kidding)
Fairborn’s defensive effort provided just as much of an effort, but the Skyhawks (0-1) were unable to recover from Oakwood’s 28-11 third quarter.
First-year coach Brooke Summit remained proud of her team’s first game of the season, despite the 21-point loss on the road.
“I think they played awesome,” she said. “I think we took a lot of what we learned in practice, and I think it was applied today. There was a lot of effort, but there’s obviously some things that we have to clean up. Overall, I’m really proud of them.”
Summitt, formerly Brooke Pumroy, was making her coaching debut at Fairborn.
Her husband, Tyler Summitt, is the son of the late University of Tennessee women’s college basketball coach Pat Summitt. Pumroy played basketball at Fairborn High and graduated in 2012. She initially met Tyler, who was then an assistant coach at Marquette University, then transferred to Louisiana Tech when Tyler was named the head coach there.
In the loss, sophomore guard Natalie Oktavec led the Skyhawks with 18 points scored. Junior guard Jodee Austin was the other Fairborn player to score in double figures with 10 points, with seven coming in the final quarter of play. Cassidy Mustard scored six points, Nakiah Dunman scored four points, Miyu Williams scored three, and Jasmine McMoore contributed with two.
The Skyhawks first went into a full-court press style of defense roughly a minute and a half into the game, and never appeared to let up. The constant pressure led to 21 Jills turnovers, mostly in the first half of play. Summitt says that could be the norm for her team defensively this year.
“Oh yeah! We’re gonna get after it,” Brooke Summitt said.
“I thought the girls did an excellent job with our defense,” added reserve head coach Chelsey Gevedon.
“They did. They did,” replied Summitt. “And as long as we can keep that consistent, that’s what we want to do. … We need to do a better job of responding to our opponents’ scoring runs, similar to how we played in the first half. We’ll be okay.”
In the win, Oakwood goes to 1-1 on the season. The Jills’ senior forward Kylie Neff, who led all scorers with 20 points. Margie Conrath scored 13 points, Olivia Grant added a dozen, and freshman Emma Neff also got into double-figure scoring with 11 points.
Oakwood has almost a week until they’re back on a court. They return to Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern Division action at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 when they’ll head south to take on Franklin.
Fairborn has an even longer wait until their next contest. The Skyhawks will enjoy their home opener at 7:30 p.m. Monday Dec. 2 at the Baker Middle School gym.