One of the biggest games in the history of the Nike Extravaganza, Chino Hills vs. Oak Hill (Virginia), undoubtedly met and exceeded all expectations. The defending California state champion Chino Hills Huskies had a 60-game winning streak entering Saturday night's action, but Oak Hill was determined to end it.
With a sold out Meruelo Athletic Center crowd rocking and the bright lights turned on, Chino Hills came out of the gates playing loose, but in the end, it was Oak Hill leaving the floor satisfied.
Oak Hill completed the upset with a 96-91 win, outscoring Chino Hills 28-19 in the fourth quarter. Lindell Wigginton (35 points) and Billy Preston (16 points, 21 rebounds) starred for the Warriors, in their takedown of LaMelo Ball (36 points, nine rebounds) and Chino Hills.
After the first loss of his high school basketball career, LaMelo Ball talked about his emotions.
"We just need to bounce back, and try not to lose no more," he said. "We missed free-throws and had too many turnovers."
LiAngelo Ball (23 points) struggled from the field, shooting just 8 of 35.
"I gotta have a better shot selection and just learn from this," he said.
Oak Hill opened up second half play with a big 3-point basket from guard Matt Coleman, and began to attack gaps in Chino's defense. Warriors forward Billy Preston started to come alive as the third quarter progressed, attacking the basket and grabbing boards. Oak Hill cut the Chino lead to 56-52 with four minutes left in the quarter, but LiAngelo Ball came right back and nailed a 3-pointer to give Chino some momentum back toward the end of the third. Chino's trap defense was clearly bothering the guards of Oak Hill, but the Warriors kept battling. Chino took a 72-68 lead into the final quarter, where this incredible matchup would be decided.
After an Oak Hill basket to start the quarter, LiAngelo nailed a three to boost Chino's lead to 75-70. After the teams went back and forth, trading baskets, a poor Chino Hills turnover led to a Lindell Wigginton dunk for Oak Hill, which kept his game-long hot shooting streak alive. Wigginton continued to torch the Huskies defense with five more points in a row, and just like that the Chino Hills lead was cut to just one point at 80-79.
A crucial floater by LaMelo put Chino up by 3, however Oak Hill came right back with a huge three-point play from big man David McCormack to tie the score at 82. Lindell Wigginton continued to come up huge for Oak Hill, nailing a jumper to give the Warriors the lead and then slamming it to put his team up 3. LaMelo responded with a cold blooded three-pointer to tie it, but Oak Hill's Billy Preston got fouled at the basket and converted on a three point play to give Oak Hill an 88-86 advantage. Lindell Wigginton proceeded to hit a dagger 3-point shot, and Oak Hill never looked back from that point.
Billy Preston was bold and emphatic after his team's victory, stating, "we let everybody know who the real hill is."
Initially, Oak Hill appeared to have some nerves and they played tight in the first few minutes. The famed Ball brothers of Chino Hills, sophomore guard LaMelo and senior forward LiAngelo, instantly wowed the crowd with shifty ball handling and long-range 3s.
"The way we play, it's tough because nobody really knows how to stop it," LaMelo Ball said.
Oak Hill responded well to Chino Hills' first run, but found themselves down 24-21 at the end of the first quarter. Physically, Oak Hill matched up well with LiAngelo Ball and the Huskies and proved they could play with the presumed No. 1 team in all of high school basketball.
As the second quarter rolled on, it became apparent that Chino Hills was trying to wear out Oak Hill, playing their typical fast-paced style of offense. The Ball brothers pushed Chino's lead to 39-29 with three minutes left in the first half. LiAngelo was constantly looking to score off the left block, and started to get going as the second quarter neared its end. Six-foot-9 sophomore forward Onyeka Okongwu of Chino Hills broke away for an emphatic open court slam in the final minute of the half, but Oak Hill snatched momentum on a goaltending call to make it 51-41 heading into the break.
LaMelo poured in 23 points in the first half, and LiAngelo scored 12 for the Huskies. Oak Hills's Lindell Wigginton shot the lights out through the first half, scoring 16 on 7 of 12 shooting.