By BRYAN URBACH
In a battle of two Dogwood Circle teams, Oakwood prevailed as the better Panther team for the night. Lead scorer and Baylor commit Damiyne Durham led the way for the Oakwood Panthers on Tuesday night in the varsity boys game against the Westwood Panthers in a 91-64 affair.
The match started off with a little bit of rust as most early matches in the season do, as both teams scored only a few points in the first minutes. In the second half of the first quarter however, the rust seemed to fall off and both teams started scoring. Oakwood held a 19-14 lead after the first quarter. As the halftime buzzer sounded, Oakwood extended its lead by three more points to bring the score to 40-32.
Durham’s scoring took off in the second half. Durham showed his ability to spread the ball around as he finished with about 12 assists, and he was able to score 18 of his 34 points from downtown.
“Damiyne is Damiyne,” Oakwood coach Ronnie Dunn said. “He’s just a phenomenal player. I’ve said from the get-go that he’s an honor to coach. He’s really a once in a lifetime player that I get to coach.”
In the second half, Oakwood outscored Westwood 51-32 to eventually finish with the 91-64 victory.
“It was an ugly win, but we’ll take it,” Dunn said. “We haven’t got our basketball legs yet. We’ve only had four practices right out of football season. So, we looked a little rusty and didn’t really execute real well. We just relied on athletic ability more than anything.”
Westwood’s coach Scott Nettles said his team’s youth played a role in not being able to come back against a better squad.
“They pretty much dominated us from the get-go,” Nettles said. “They had their Baylor commit with 34 points, but they also had a few other kids in double-digits. It’s just a young bunch that couldn’t handle getting behind, but we have a quick turnaround this week as we’re going to be in Huntington on Thursday against San Augustine.”