Written by JHS Senior, Isaac Foster
The Jones Longhorns (1-5) faced the Oklahoma Christian School Saints (1-1) on Tuesday night in Jones. The Longhorns attempted to snap their losing streak with a win, while the Saints looked to bounce back from their loss to Silo. Both teams seeking to find a rhythm in their season by kickstarting the new year with a win. Coming off an outstanding performance in the Casady tournament, Ory Gaul becomes the face of the Longhorn offense by scoring 22.3 points-per-game. OCS Freshman Luke Gray looks to lead the Saints with inside scoring and defensive ability. The game is set, and it seems to be a good one.
To start the game, the Saints catch fire from midrange by going on an 8-2 scoring run forcing a Longhorn timeout to slow down the Saint momentum. Longhorn head coach, Derek Verner seemed to spark a fire into the Longhorns during the timeout which led to their own 8-2 run finishing it off with a Carson May slam dunk. Although there were no fans
allowed into the game, the game was full of high caliber and tight intensity. As the first quarter ended, both teams are filled with immense ferocity with a score of 12-12.
All night it was a back and forth battle between the rivals causing multiple lead changes. Midway through the 2nd, Longhorns enter Sophomore Spencer Davis in an attempt to provide offensive playmaking to the low scoring game. Many empty possessions cause the intensity to increase as the quarter closes. Just before the half finishes, Longhorn senior Ory Gaul takes the game into his own hands by taking the ball coast to coast for an and-one; however, the referees called Gaul with the charge, which gave Ory 3 fouls to end the half with a score of 23-23. OCS seems to be slowly controlling the game, but they cannot get over the hump to take it away. This game was full of great defense by both squads.
Out of the half, senior Longhorn Tye Tucker goes on a spree to spark momentum into the Jones community by providing 3 points, 2 steals, and 1 assist in the first minute and a half to force an OCS timeout. The Longhorns lead 35-25 which forces OCS to press the Longhorns. The Saints succeed in this effort to get back into the game. Longhorn senior Elijah Reed displays his seniority by calling a timeout in a nail-biting moment where the Longhorns were inches away from a turnover. The Saints’ pressure works as they gain back momentum in a crucial time.
Great scoring from OCS freshmen Luke Gray keeps the Saints in the game.
Luke Gray starts off the scoring for the Saints by drawing multiple fouls and hitting free throws. The energy in the fanless building soared by both benches providing endless noise. The Longhorns and Saints go back and forth all the way until the end. OCS senior Braden Roberts had a silent night; however, his sixth point was the biggest shot of the game. With seconds left on the clock and a score of 50-50, Roberts takes it down and scores a miraculous mid-range fade away at the buzzer to win the game 52-50.
The Saints start off 2021 with a win and confidence for the season. Luke Gray finishes the game with 26 points and leads OCS to victory. The young freshman looks to have a great future ahead of him.