Oak Hill earned a spot in the Chick-fil-A Classic Division I championship on Saturday, blasting Keenan, 91-40 at Richland Northeast.
The Raiders played Oak Hill close in last year’s tournament, and coach Zach Norris hoped this year’s squad could turn it up against the nation’s preseason No. 4 Warriors.
But Keenan was outmatched by a bigger, stronger Oak Hill squad with four Division I signees as the Warriors led in nearly every statistical category.
“It was a lesson learned, that you have to come out and play hard and fundamentally sound from the beginning,” Keenan coach Zach Norris said. “I think the game was dictated the first couple of times down the floor.”
Cody Martin and Caleb Martin combined for 29 points as Oak Hill took a 43-19 halftime lead. The Warriors shot 72 percent from the floor — 50 percent from 3-point range — and held a 14-8 advantage on the boards at the half.
While Oak Hill used its size advantage to make life difficult for the Raiders in the post, Keenan tried to get past the Warriors with its speed.
But Warriors forward Trevor Manuel made layups a low-percentage shot for Keenan,
The Warriors led by 11 after eight minutes as Marcus Stroman worked his way into the paint between defenders to post a layup that put the Raiders’ deficit back in single-digits.
But with Caleb Martin hitting the second of five first-half Oak Hill 3-pointers, the Raiders could not gain any ground. When the Raiders worked to combat Oak Hill’s low-post effort, the Warriors punished them with long-range jumpers.
With four minutes left in the first half, Keenan trailed by 20. In the final three minutes of the period, Tariq Simmons and Kendric Gathers hit from 3-point range, but the Raiders could not hold off Oak Hill’s attack.
Keenan was scoreless through seven minutes of the second half, and Oak Hill pushed its lead up to 52 before Stroman hit two free throws and a 3 to stop the run.
Stroman had 25 points to lead the Raiders.
“It was a test for us and it’s going to be a lesson learned; I’m going to make sure of that,” Norris said.