The Warrior (21-5) defense pitched a first-quarter shutout and was up 26-0 early in the second quarter before the Cougars got themselves on the board. The half ended with a 41-13 advantage for OMA, as it went on to ease to the win.
Even playing without starting point guard Blake Mason, who is out with a foot injury, the five starters OMA coach Lenny Williams had did more than enough to solidify the win. Colton Pollard led with 18 points, while Wade Mason added a 17-point, 13-rebound effort, James Hughes scored another 17 points and grabbed nine boards, Kelton Hunt had nine points and 10 rebounds and R.J. Williams stepped in and scored nine points and dished out 14 assists.
"When you're missing an all-region player, which he's going to be missed, but you're adding a guy who's our best passer, I don't know how many assists he had. You're also adding one of our best rebounders. The only negative about it is decision-making in a close game. But you just saw three other all-region players step up in James Hughes, Colton and Wade. That takes a lot of pressure off R.J., but he's talented. He's and eighth-grader, but it does not scare me to put him in games," Lenny Williams said.
Hughes did his damage from beyond the arc, making 5-of-10 3-pointers, while Pollard was 2-for-3 from long distance.
The performance on Thursday night is what the Warriors are capable of when they show up to play. The key is to continue that effort.
"It's simple basketball. We're not going to sugarcoat it. We know we're a very good team, but we can't just say it. We've got to come out here. When they share the ball, we're hard to guard. Those guys have been together for over a year," Lenny Williams said. "Again, you don't know who's going to score, and when you add a 6-1 guard to the mix that is one of our best finishers around the rim and gets offensive rebounds, we're a hard team to beat. I expect this out of our group, no matter who is on the court."
In the championship game, the Warriors will get the matchup they expected — the defending region champions, Dawson Street. That is exactly what Lenny Williams wants as his team tries to win back the region title tonight at 8:30 p.m.
"That's how I want it every year between us and Dawson Street. They've got a special program over there. But in order to win the championship, you've got to defeat the defending champions. Right now we like the position we're in. They're quicker and faster, but I like our chances in that game. I don't want it any other way," Lenny Williams said.