LEAD THE BREAK – Senior Point guard Janero Porter leads a fast break for Oak Forest after a steal. Photo by Jesse Brooks.
By Jesse Brooks
AMITE- Oak Forest Academy boys basketball reached 7-0 overall on Monday, December 11 as they turned in a dominant 63-32 victory over Silliman Institute in a regular season rematch at home.
Senior point guard Janero Porter provided the early spark on defense for the Jackets by disrupting Silliman’s backcourt to earn five first quarter steals. The takeaways helped OFA hold the 11-7 edge at the close of the first quarter. During the sequence, the Jackets also showed balance in their scoring as their early lead consisted of a 3-pointer made by La’Vell Scott, a bucket in post traffic by Braxten McGovern and Chris Backa scoring on a feed on the block.
“Janero is providing a huge spark for us defensively,” said OFA head coach Curtis Matherne. “We stayed in one of our 22 packages. It’s really aggressive in the corners and kind of allows our top tier guy to make plays on the sideline and he played it to pure perfection.”
OFA later closed out the first half on a 9-2 run. The starting backcourt of Scott and Porter remained active on both sides of the ball as Scott assisted McGovern on a fast break and nailed a 3-pt. shot a possession later. Porter also sank a jumper in the lane inside the final minute of the first half.
Coming out of intermission, OFA went on a 14-3 run, initiated by a thunderous dunk from Backa, to start the third quarter. Porter also had a steal and score at the end of the run. After Scott made good on another 3-point shot, McGovern made a shot at the foul line after getting a bucket to fall, extending the Jacket lead to 51-22 with 1:21 left before the fourth quarter.
Scott, who has finished as OFA’s leading scorer six out of their seven games this season, shook off a sluggish start to lead all scorers with 21 points. McGovern was second in scoring with 14 points and Backa also had 12. Porter’s nine points led him to be just shy of a double-double as he totaled 10 steals.
“I was missing a lot of easy shots that I normally make, but I picked it up in the second half,” Scott said in postgame. “I’ll do whatever I need to do to help my team win.”
OFA guard La’Vell Scott
Matherne said that they were able to run some sets for Scott in the second half that helped free up his shot from outside to jump start his offensive game.
Matherne also said that he like the state his team is in now that it’s crucial part of the season.
“Conference starts for us Friday and after that we’ll have a conference game once or twice a week and a non-conference game once a week,” Matherne said. “It’s go time from here until March.”
This Friday OFA will travel to Mississippi to face Jackson Prep who currently hold a 5-2 overall record.