There aren’t very many athletes who show up on Friday night like Jalen Jones.
The senior shooting guard helped lead the Red Devils to victory on the hardwood Friday night — just as he had on the gridiron all season — putting in 16 of Oak Hill’s 76 points in a 76-36 victory over county rival Fayetteville.
For Jones, he’s just carrying on a Friday tradition.
“It started with football and carried over to basketball,” he said. “I love Friday nights. It’s the last day for school and I just seem to have a good night every Friday.”
Jones spent a year away from hoops, and it showed. Oak Hill managed to win just 3 games a year ago under coach Walt Raines, but the explosive and high-powered Red Devils managed to close the Raines chapter of its history and open the Wes Brown era with a win.
The Red Devils utilized an up-tempo transition game, forcing Fayetteville to turn the ball over on their first four possessions. Josh Jones — Jalen’s little brother — scored the first five points of a 21-4 first quarter that set the tone for the remainder of the game.
However, instead of putting on the cruise control for the remainder of the game, Brown’s team kept their foot on the gas and dominated the Pirates for four quarters, going deep into their bench for the victory.
“We played hard from number one all the way to eleven throughout the game,” Brown said. “We did the small things right, which made us feel really good, even though we were winning, it would have been easy at that point to back off, but we didn’t do that.”
The Devils had four players with at least five rebounds, including Jones and junior Joey Re, which opened up the transition game that it excelled at.
“That’s what we’re trying to do,” Jones said. “We’re a fast team. We like to use that to our advantage. Not a lot of teams are as athletic as us so when we get the rebound, we just want to get out.”
Brown was excited with the play of Re, who finished the game with five boards and eight points.
“Joey has really bought into playing with his back to the basket this season,” he said. “He spent a lot of time at the three, but he’s done well in his transition to the post.”
As dominating as Oak Hill was under the basket, they were just as hot from the outside, knocking down nine 3-pointers, getting multiple threes from Marcus Logan and both Josh and Jalen Jones.
And while the 1st team all-stater, Jalen, sat out most of the year of basketball last year, he’s glad to be back.
“Taking a year off was hard,” he said. “I got a little rusty, but this team is much different. The coaching is better and we have an attitude that we didn’t have a year ago. We didn’t have this coaching a year ago.”
Brown is happy to have Jones back in the lineup, not only for his ability but his leadership.
“All the kids respect Jalen,” he said. “He’s been a leader for the kids from Mount Hope from when he was in sixth grade. These kids look up to him whether it’s on the football field or a basketball court, there’s comfort with him on the floor.”
The success that seems to follow him probably doesn’t hurt either, but Brown isn’t willing to put any high expectations on his team just yet.
“This team deserves every thing they can get,” he said. “I’m not saying we’re a Charleston bound team, but we’re going to give a lot of teams problems.”
Oak Hill will welcome Winfield on Tuesday night.
The Pirates, which was lead by Will Dooley with 10 points, will travel to Valley on Monday.
— E-mail: email@example.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.
Oak Hill 76, Fayetteville 36
Sam Abbott 0 1-2 1, Jacob Alton 0 2-2 2, William Dooley 4 1-2 10, Dylan Doyle 1 0-0 2, William Fenton 3 0-0 7, Timothy Holster 0 1-2 1 Zack Hopins 1 0-0 3, Ricky Meadows 1 0-0 3, David Parsons 1 0-0 2, Tasheem Saunders 3 0-0 6. Totals: 14 5-8 36.
Oak Hill (1-0)
Jacob Crouch 1 0-0 3, Joseph Curry 1-2 1, KK Goodman 3 0-0 6, Antonio Gray 4 0-0 8, Ian Hunt 1 1-2 3, Jalen Jones 5 3-4 16, Josh Jones 3 1-2 9, Marcus Logan 3 3-4 11, Joey Re 4 0-2 8, Deonte Scruggs 3 1-2 8, Marcus Thompson 1 0-0 2, Quenten Traynham 1 0-0 2. Totals: 29 10-18 76.
F 4 6 13 13 — 36
OH 21 23 21 11 — 76
3-point goals — F: William Dooley, William Fenton, Zack Hopkins, Ricky Meadows; OH: Jacob Crouch, Jalen Jones (3), Josh Jones (2), Marcus Logan (2), Deonte Scruggs. Fouled out — None.