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Brown nets 40 as Blackford tops Oak Hill

By Eric Hinderliter - ctreporter@indy.rr.com

Oak Hill was blitzed by Blackford in the first quarter Friday night and the Eagles were not able to recover from the 33-16 hole that had been dug. The Bruins cruised from there winning 76-53.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Eagle head coach Kevin Renbarger. “It’s inexcusable to give up 33 points in a quarter.”

Playing at Blackford has become a tough atmosphere to play in with nearly 4,000 fans excited about the resurgent Bruin program. Blackford is now 13-4 on the season.

“I told the kids to live in the moment,” noted Renbarger. “We came out and played in front of 4,000 people and they (Blackford) hit everything they shot and we couldn’t hit anything.”

Although the Eagles were able stay close for a bit - they trailed just 13-10 midway through after Tahj Johnson scored after being assisted by Landry Ozmun. Whether it was nerves or anxiety, the Eagles hit just three of their next nine shots while the Bruins went on a 20-6 run to round out the first quarter.

Luke Brown scored 16 points in the first quarter while Brandon Strobel netted 10 of his own. Blackford hit 11 of their 16 opening quarter shots.

“I have to give Blackford a lot of credit,” said Renbarger. “They played an incredible game.”

The combination of Brown and Strobel proved too much for the Eagles to overcome. Brown finished the game with 40 points on 15 of 24 shooting. Strobel backed Brown up with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting.

The game was stopped in the first quarter when Brown surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his short career. He reached the milestone in just 32 games, the fastest to 1,000 in Indiana high school history.

Despite the struggles, Renbarger was able to pull some positives from the loss.

“Tahj (Johnson) came out and played well,” said Renbarger. “I’m very proud of him. He did an admirable job (on Brown). We wanted him (Brown) to take difficult shots and he made them.”

Johnson scored eight points. Landry Ozmun led the Oak Hill scorers with 13 points. Bradey Evans and Kody Dubois also scored eight points.

“I don’t question our effort,” Renbarger explained. “I question our preparedness. This is what happens when we don’t come out mentally prepared.”

The Eagles ended up shooting 21-of-51 from the field and had a 31-25 deficit on the boards. Konner Cabe grabbed eight while Dubois nabbed seven.

“These kids are able to flush quickly,” noted Renbarger. “They want to do better and do well.”

Oak Hill, now 6-11 and 2-4 in the Central Indiana Conference, returns home for a Saturday afternoon game with Eastern starting at 5 p.m.