OUT AND RUNNING- Oak Forest junior guard La’Vell Scott led the Jackets with 22 points in a 71-27 victory over East Rankin. Photo by Jesse Brooks.
By Jesse Brooks
Oak Forest Academy boys basketball has opened their season with a four-game win streak after taking down East Rankin Academy 71-27 on Saturday, December 2. Junior shooting guard La’Vell Scott was the leading scorer for the third time this season with 22 points. Point guard Janero Porter also had 16 points in the effort.
“Those two (Scott and Porter) have had really good offseasons,” said OFA head coach Curtis Matherne. “La’Vell has put in a lot of work in the gym. Janero is finally healthy, and he’s put in a lot of work in the gym as well. As you can see, it has paid big dividends.”
Scott scored the first five points for OFA to open the game on a 9-2 run. That run jumped up to 13-4 inside of a minute in the opening quarter after a assist in the paint from Porter to Braxten McGovern, and a steal-and-score by Porter on the next possession.
OFA found balance on offense in the second quarter as Scott hit a three early and forward Chris Backa dunked off of a post feed with 5:51 remaining in the first half to increase the lead to 21-11.
At the 5:39 mark in the second quarter, East Rankin was tagged with a technical foul, and Porter sank two shots at the foul line to kickstart a 12-0 run to close out the fist half. During the sequence, Porter utilized a crossover to set up an assisted dunk for Backa. Later, with two and a half minutes remaining in the period, Jon Jovi nailed a 3-pointer to put OFA up 35-17. By intermission, the Jackets held a commanding 44-17 lead.
“Right now, I just feel like I’m playing the best I ever have in my career,” said Scott. “It’s just really exciting right now and I’m focused on being the best teammate I can be.”
In the second half, Scott and Porter continued to display chemistry in passing and scoring on fast breaks. McGovern, who was the Jackets’ leading scorer with 19 points against Silliman on November 28, had a pair of dunks late in the second half.
“We played three really solid teams to open the season, and were really excited to open at home with a good basketball program in East Rankin,” Matherne said. “We had a great crowd so it was really good to get this one at home.”
As the Jackets prepare to hit the road again to face Central Private, Scott will look to stay at an elevated level of play. Prior to last Saturday, Scott dropped 37 points over Trinity Episcopal in Natchez, Mississippi on November 30.
OFA will return to their home schedule on Thursday, December 7 with a rematch against Hillcrest Christian.