Mike Cocke’ and his Foss staff had just 24 hours to prepare for Oak Hill Academy.
Against a perennial national power, one that’s produced more than 20 NBA players (Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Jerry Stackhouse just to name a few) and has two starters currently ranked in the top 60 in the nation for the 2016 class – how do you do that?
"Playing a team like that – it’s hard to game plan in 24 hours," Cocke’ said. "We got together and tried to come up with some things we could force them to do."
Foss slowed it down, forced perimeter shots and stressed patience. And it sort of worked.
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The Falcons hung in the game for the first half before Oak Hill Academy – a boarding school located in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia – sprinted away in the fourth quarter for a 102-51 victory in the second round of the Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High School in Oregon.
Roberto Gittens led Foss with 22 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Lindell Wiggington scored a game-high 24 points for Oak Hill, which is ranked fifth in the nation by MaxPreps. Mario Kegler, a Mississippi State signee who is ranked the No. 32 recruit in the country by ESPN, had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Braxton Key, an Alabama signee who ESPN ranks the No. 66 recruit, had 10 points. Oak Hill also had Harry Giles, a Duke signee who is considered the top recruit in the nation, but he tore his ACL in November.
"We didn’t even talk about personnel," Cocke’ said. "Everybody they have is a high-level Division I player. We just talked about they get up and get dressed just like we do and have to go out and play."
Foss trailed by six at the end of the first quarter and 37-29 at halftime. It was 58-41 near the end of the third quarter before Oak Hill really took off, outscoring Foss 36-8 in the fourth quarter.
Foss, the first Tacoma team to play in the Les Schwab Invitational, came off a first-round victory Sunday over Jesuit, and Oregon school which reached the state’s 6A state title game last year. Cocke’ said the tournament has been a memorable experience, despite Monday’s loss.
"We will never play a team in my time at Foss that is that good again," Cocke’ said. "When we get home, we aren’t going to be backing down from anybody because we just played one of the best teams in the country."
Foss will play Clackamas at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Oak Hill advances to the semifinals to play West Linn. The only other team from Washington – Garfield, beat Central Catholic, 92-69, on Monday and advances to play DeMatha at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Auburn Mountainview 53, Petersburg (Alaska) 34: Ryan Lacey scored 19 points and Tristan Miguel added 10 as the Lions cruised to the win in the Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic in Ketchikan, Alaska.
AMV improved to 7-0 with the nonleague victory.
Curtis 68, Rancho Christian (Calif.) 49: Glenn Jordan scored a game-high 26 points and Aushanti Potts-Woods added 19 as the Vikings pulled away in the second half in the Under Armour Holiday Classic at Escondido High School in California.
Curtis advances to face East Roosevelt of California in the tournament semifinals.
Canyon Springs (Nev.) 64, Mount Tahoma 55: Demetrius Smith scored a game-high 17 points but the Thunderbirds came up short against Canyon Springs of Nevada in the Tournament of Champions at Franklin High School.
Destin Hicks-Armstrong added 11 points and Adrian Allen had 10 points.
Scripps Ranch (Calif.) 59, Life Christian 47: The Eagles suffered their first loss despite a fourth-quarter rally.
The Eagles were 8-0 coming into the game and trailed 46-30 entering the final quarter.
Luke Lovelady scored a game-high 19 points for Life Christian and Reid Roeloffs added 16.
Sumner 62, Livermore (Calif.) 57: The Spartans got 17 points from Dawson Cutright and 12 from Kristian Lewis in the nonleague victory.
Timberline 78, Ballard 43: Austin Curry scored a game-high 25 points and Erik Stevenson added 21 to lift the Blazers.
Jarryn Bush scored 11 points for Timberline.
McKenzie Alton scored 19 points, Shalyse Smith had 17 points and Jayana Ervin added 16 as the Bellarmine Prep girls basketball team cruised to an 80-40 victory over Timberline in the Sterling Shootout at Kennedy Catholic.
The Lions led 50-23 at halftime.