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By GOOSE LINDSAY
It might be only early December, but the Oliver Springs Bobcats and Lady 'Cats picked up a pair of big wins Tuesday night with a sweep of Oakdale in a key District 4-A match-up for both teams.
The Lady 'Cats took the floor first and handed Oakdale their first loss of the regular season, 40-35.
The Bobcats also picked up a win in the nightcap game as Tony Ingram's squad picked up a 60-44 victory over the Eagles, who are coached by former Oliver Springs Middle School head coach J.T. Hicks.
If the Lady 'Cats are to win the District 4-A title for a fifth straight year then it will be their defense that must lead the way. Michelle Christopher's defense did just that Tuesday as the Lady Eagles scored just 35 points.
Oakdale, however, did have a solid first quarter as Nicole Thompson and Natalie McGill each buried treys in leading the Lady Eagles to an 11-7 lead after eight minutes of play.
Katie Harvey scored six of Oliver Springs' seven points in the opening period.
Thompson buried another three-pointer that gave the Lady Eagles a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, but the rest of the period belonged to the Lady 'Cats. Oliver Springs ended the period on a 16-6 run to take a 23-20 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Maleah Murray and Chelsea Harper scored six points each for the Lady 'Cats in the frame while Harvey added four.
Oliver Springs tried to pull away in the third period. Powered by seven points from Harvey, the Lady 'Cats opened the third period with a 9-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 32-22 with two minutes left in the frame.
Oakdale, however, ended the period with Thompson going on a 5-2 run to make the score 34-27 with eight minutes left to play.
Oliver Springs' lead seemed safe as the Lady 'Cats took a 37-28 lead into the closing minutes of the contest, but Oakdale had one run left as another Thompson three-pointer capped a 7-0 run that made the score 37-35 with 37 seconds left.
Harvey, however, made three free throws down the stretch and Oakdale wouldn't score again.
Harvey led Oliver Springs on the night with 20 points and five rebounds. Harper (6 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals), Murray (7 points, 5 rebounds), Hannah Raby (4 assists) and Kelsey Christopher (6 rebounds, 3 steals) also played well in the victory.
Thompson led Oakdale with five three-pointers and 17 points. Lindsey Kilby (9 rebounds, 4 steals) and Marissa Redmon (7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 steals) also contributed big numbers for the Lady Eagles.
Oakdale (35) Kilby 4, Thompson 17, McGill 5, Redmon 4, Colston 4, Sanderson 1.
Oliver Springs (40) Christopher 2, Harvey 20, Harper 6, Murray 7, Carter 3, Davis 2.
The second game wasn't as dramatic as the Bobcats used a 16-3 run in the first and second quarters along with a 16-0 run in the second and third quarters to put away the Eagles.
Oakdale trailed just 10-8 with 4:19 left in the first period, but the next eight minutes of game time would see the Bobcats go on a 16-3 run to make the score 26-11 with 4:19 left in the first half.
Wesley Rather (8 points) and Lucas Tarver (7 points) led the way for the Bobcats in the first 12 minutes of play.
Oakdale did settle down and used a 10-2 run of their own to pull within 28-21 with 2:44 left in the first half, but the Eagles didn't score again until midway through the third period and by then the Bobcats held a 44-23 lead.
Oakdale never got closer than 13 after that as Oliver Springs went on to the 60-44 victory.
Rather had a great night in leading the Bobcats to the victory as he ended the game with 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Tarver (11 points) and Miller (10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) also scored in double figures for Oliver Springs.
Tyler harper (7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Rue Eskridge (4 points, 6 steals) also contributed heavily in the Bobcat victory.
Josh Kilby (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Ryan Young (11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) scored in double figures for Oakdale while D.J. Currier ( 9 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) also put up big numbers.
Oakdale (44) Currier 9, Steinmetz 7, Kilby 16, Johnson 1, Young 11.
Oliver Springs (60) Rather 19, Tarver 11, Miller 10, Harper 7, Eskridge 4, McBee 2, Romero 7.