TOP PERFORMER- Senior Jacket point guard Janero Porter scored 14 points in the 43-40 road loss to Jackson Prep. Photo by Jesse Brooks.
By Jesse Brooks
JACKSON, Miss- Despite late game heroics by senior point guard Janero Porter, Oak Forest Academy boys basketball (8-1) experienced their first loss of the season on the road to conference opponent Jackson Prep (6-2) on Friday, December 15.
The Yellow Jackets led for a majority of the contest until they began to swap leads with the Patriots in the fourth quarter. With about 4:56 left in regulation, Prep went on a 5-0 run to capture a 37-33 lead. Porter, who scored 14 points total in the game, was able to cut into the deficit 37-36 by knocking down two foul shots after getting hit on a drive. Prep responded with back-to-back fast break layups to extend the lead 41-38 inside three minutes to go. Porter came back with two buckets of his own on consecutive possessions, pulling OFA within 41-40 with 2:22 remaining.
OFA had an opportunity to take the lead at the foul line, but they missed two shots from the stripe down the stretch. After Prep got another bucket to fall in inside of a minute, OFA had one last chance to tie the game with a shot beyond the arc after calling timeout with 13.8 seconds left to go. Shooting guard La’Vell Scott’s attempt would fall short while blanketed by the Patriot defense.
The first half was a different story for OFA as they ended with a 25-18 lead. Porter and Scott’s scoring, and Porter’s steals, helped launch a 9-2 run to open the game. With 3:27 to go in the first quarter, Porter sank a 3-pointer. OFA was up as much as 14-4 with 1:24 in the first quarter when Porter assisted on a 3-pt. make by Scott.
OFA started the second quarter on a 8-3 run that was kicked off by Chris Backa splitting a pair at the line and Jon Jovi nailing a 3-pointer from the wing. OFA held a 22-14 lead at 2:24 in the second quarter following Porter’s bucket in traffic and the foul shot after, and McGovern splitting a pair at the line a possession later.
Just before intermission, Porter set up the offense and assisted Scott who hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Prep opened the second half with tougher defense and launching a 6-0 scoring run. Near the end of the third quarter Scott connected on a layup and Backa produced two blocks and a put back to give OFA a 31-29 lead going into the fourth quarter. However, turnovers and missed free throws resulted in missed opportunities for the Jackets in the final period.
Scott led the Jackets in scoring with 17 points.
OFA will return to action on Thursday, December 21 when they face conference opponent Jackson Academy at home. The Raiders hold a 6-2 record overall.