Prep Tour: Oak Hill-Patterson Scrimmage

The Patterson School and Oak Hill Academy renewed what is becoming an early fall tradition and scrimmaged in Western Carolina Tuesday night. The schools split a pair of halves but it was Patterson that claimed the largest margin of victory on this occasion.

LENOIR, N.C. – Before we even get started talking about the Patterson-Oak Hill scrimmage, understand this: a ton of talent was on the floor of the Mulberry Recreation Center. By our count, no less than 18 Division I players (many of them from's player lists) suited up for what is becoming an annual early fall scrimmage between a pair of high-profile programs.

It's also very important to note the earliness of this scrimmage. Nothing looked consistently smooth – except transition offense – for either team in both halves. Both coaches would agree that offensively and defensively, getting your guys on the same page won't happen in early October.

Now about the game. There were a pair of 20-minute halves played and after the first 20 minutes, the scoreboard was wiped clean and we started 0-0 in the second go round.

To put it bluntly, the Patterson School smoked Oak Hill in the first 20 minutes 61-30. Patterson came out bombing away from the perimeter and 4 different players made 3-pointers during the first 6 minutes of the game as Chris Chaney's bunch raced out to an insurmountable 26-12 margin.

Oak Hill has six high level players on its roster right now, three of which are underclassmen. Tuesday night they got caught in the headlights during the first half and had no answer for the intense play of Patterson. They were the younger team and through the first 20 minutes, played like it.

Sutton Shot Chart Vs. Oak Hill

Leading the way for Chaney's determined bunch was Durham native Dominique Sutton, presently the 4th highest-rated available small forward in the nation. Sutton scored 12 points in the first game and we credited him with 24 points and 9 rebounds for the night as he was the most consistent performer on either side for the evening.

"I had to come out aggressive and show them that we were going to come out and play ball," Sutton said afterwards. Mission accomplished. Alongside Jeremy Hazell, Earl Pettis and Cameron Tatum, Patterson made short work of Oak Hill.

Oak Hill's youth and tentativeness were exploited for all to see during one sequence when a loose ball was rolling around the free throw line. A trio of Oak Hill players surrounded the ball, none diving on the floor but each watched as Hazell swooped in, dove and gained possession for Patterson. In that first stanza, Patterson was more aggressive and set the tone.

After intermission, Oak Hill got its act together, particularly in the backcourt. Nolan Smith's 10 points in the first loss was the only bright spot for Steve Smith's Warriors. Unfortunately, Nolan Smith was one man carrying a pistol playing against a team armed with more ammunition. To even the score he would need help.

Enter Brandon Jennings.

The junior point guard's first half loss was a forgettable experience by his standards. Jennings shot 1-for-6 and turned it over 4 times under Patterson's pressure. If Oak Hill stood a chance for redemption, Jennings would have come up big.

Good Crowd On Hand Tuesday Night

His second game was a gem defensively as he got his hands on a lot of balls, created havoc, generated steals and got Oak Hill's transition game running.

"He turned it up a lot and went to the basket a little more aggressive," Sutton said of Jennings. "Defensively he got some nice steals too."

For the evening we had Jennings with 19 points on 7-for-16 from the floor. It wasn't a big assist evening but again, his play helped boost Oak Hill to a 59-54 win in the second 20-minute half.

  • Alex Legion couldn't find his shot in the first game but settled down and got some hoops in the second.
  • Julian Vaughn is in very good shape and finished one high level up and under post move, a testament to his skill level. However, Oak Hill's frontline size advantage didn't translate into enough production inside.
  • Nolan Smith's intensity in the first half was the lone bright spot early for Oak Hill.
  • James Tyler continues to show post skill. Finising in traffic with confidence and strength is next on his agenda.
  • Karron Johnson showcased an expanded 3-point arsenal.
  • Anjuan Wilderness did his trademark work on the baselines and in transition.
  • Jeremy Hazell is going to be a weapon behind the line at Seton Hall.
  • Cameron Tatum was one of the handful of offensive bright spots for Patterson.

    Dominique Sutton hits the visit trail this weekend as he's set to see Kansas State. The following weekend he sprints to Oklahoma and Illinois could snag a visit as well.

    Coaches -- Appalachian State head coach Houston Fancher plus assistants from North Carolina State, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Charlotte, Appalachian State, Auburn, Miami, Kansas State.

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