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By GOOSE LINDSAY
The 2009 home opener for the Rockwood Tigers and Lady Tigers wasn't a memorable event for the green and gold as visiting Oakdale invaded Dr. Tom W. Evans Gymnasium and took home a pair of wins.
The girls contest was a physical battle from start to finish and in the end it was the Lady Eagles rallying from behind in the fourth period for a 36-30 victory.
Oakdale didn't rally from behind in the fourth period in the boys game. Instead the Eagles withstood a Rockwood rally as the Eagles nearly let a 17-point halftime lead slip away before holding on for a 56-48 victory.
The Tigers will look to rebound Friday night when they host Harriman in a key District 3-A battle for both teams.
Oakdale will also be at home Friday when they host Oneida in a District 4-A affair.
Fans of up-tempo basketball didn't like this one as the Lady Eagles and Lady Tigers locked horns in a game that resembled a hockey contest at times with all the physical play.
Rockwood's Reanna Henderson enjoyed the physical play in the beginning as she buried a three-pointer and scored seven points in leading the Lady Tigers to a 12-9 lead after eight minutes of play.
Jessica Bear also buried a triple for Rockwood in the opening period.
The second period was all about defense as the two teams combined for just 12 points. Oakdale scored seven on those points to pull within one point, 17-16, at halftime.
Marissa Redmon (6 points) and Lindsey Kilby (5 points) combined for 11 of Oakdale's 16 points in the first half.
The third quarter was also low scoring as the Lady Tigers used an 8-5 advantage in the period to take a 25-21 lead with eight minutes left to play.
The fourth quarter took a while to finish as the teams combined for 37 free throw attempts in the final period of play.
Unfortunately for Lady Tiger fans, Oakdale attempted 28 of those charity tosses with 13 finding the bottom of the basket. Those free throws allowed Oakdale to outscore Rockwood 15-5 in the final period and pull out the 36-30 victory.
Oakdale made 19 of 43 free throws on the night while Rockwood made five of 13.
Kilby (10 points, 5 rebounds) and Redmon (10 points, 8 rebounds) led Oakdale on the night.
Henderson (12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and the way for Rockwood with Allison Breazeale and Shaley Grant each pulling down a game-high nine rebounds.
Oakdale (36) Thompson 7, Kilby 10, Redmon 10, Snow 5, McGill 1, Colston 2, Sanderson 1.
Rockwood (30) Henderson 12, Breazeale 2, Brackett 2, Gunter 3, Grant 1, Mayton 3, Mead 2, Bear 3, Monroe 2.
Some teams start out hot, but the Eagles came out on fire Friday as J.T. Hicks' squad buried seven three-pointers in the first period alone. Those threes allowed the Eagles to jump out to a 23-point lead at one point in the opening period before settling for a 29-9 lead after eight minutes of play.
Tee Steinmetz had the hottest hand with three triples and 10 points while Wyatt Gibson buried a pair of three-pointers and scored six points. D.J. Currier also dialed long distance and scored eight points in the period for Oakdale.
In his first game back from football, Jeromy Hagermaker led the way for Rockwood with five points in the opening period.
Oakdale cooled off after the first period and that allowed the Tigers to slowly chip away at the Eagle lead.
Rockwood outscored Oakdale 15-12 in the second period and 12-9 in the third period to pull within 50-36 with eight minutes left to play.
Derrick Lawson buried a pair of three-pointers and scored six points in the third period to keep Rockwood within striking distance.
The Tigers did make a run at the Eagles in the final period and pulled to within six points at one point, but they could get no closer as Oakdale left Tiger Town with an eight-point victory.
Steinmetz (18 points, 6 rebounds) and Currier (15 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks) scored in double figures for Oakdale with Ryan Young (9 points, 7 rebounds) coming close.
Hagermaker (12 points, 6 rebounds) and Lawson (11 points) led the Tigers in scoring with Cleveland Davidson (8 rebounds) leading the team on the glass.
Oakdale (56) Kilby 2, Johnson 3, Currier 15, Young 9, Steinmetz 18, Gibson 9.
Oliver Springs (48) Morgan 6, Bear 6, Lawson 11, Hagermaker 12, Hamby 6, Davidson 4, Huffman 3.