PICKERING – A strong second period put Pickering up big, and the Red Devils never looked back.
Pickering outscored Oakdale by 17 in the second to pick up the 74-58 victory Tuesday night at home.
"I knew that they were going to prepare for our press," Pickering head coach Brandon Jordan said. "I figured if we didn't do it in the first, they weren't going to be ready for it in the second. The first quarter, we played straight man, and then we sprung it on them. They didn't handle it very well and it got to them, as we hoped.."
The win keeps the Red Devils (12-13, 4-0) in district title contention as the season winds down.
Pickering went up 34-22 in the second quarter after a 3 by Marlon Freeney. Freeney finished with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
After back-to-back 3s by Freeney, DeShawn Jackson slammed down a lob from forward Jordan Ellis to make it 49-28 with 1:22 left in the half.
Leading 58-35 in the third, Oakdale went on a 10-0 run to cut into the lead and get back in the game.
"I've been telling them since that Rosepine game that you have to put somebody away when you get the chance," Jordan said. "I don't know a drill that instills that Mamba Mentality into them."
However, the Warriors were unable to get it under single digits, and Pickering held on to the win.
Oakdale is coached by former Pickering assistant Gett Thomas, who is in his first year with the Warriors.
"He's going to be a great coach," Jordan said. "He's smart and is a second-generation coach, like me. He grew up around the game and knows his stuff.
"When he got the job, I started to get worried, because I know he's going to get that program going in the right direction."
All five starters for the Red Devils finished in double figures. Jackson led Pickering with 25 points, and Alijah Vincent added 14. Xavier Evans and Jordan Ellis each finished with 10.
Ellis became eligible at the beginning of the year after transferring in and has made an impact on both sides of the ball.
"I lost a starter because of grades, and Jordan, luckily, was here to fill that spot," Jordan said. "I feel like he's been a great addition. Jordan is tall, but he's not a traditional big man."