Wheelersburg at Oak Hill girls basketball

Oak Hill’s Peyton Miller slashes her way to the basket during the Oaks’ loss to the Pirates earlier this season. Miller dropped 22 points in the Oaks’ victory over Valley on Thursday.

Note: This sports recap appears in the Wednesday, Jan. 8 newspaper on Page B2.

2020 already has been a very strange sports year, and we’re not even 10 days in yet.

The New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints are out of the playoffs, Vinton County girls lost at home for the first time in three years and I still can’t figure out this Ohio State basketball team after losing to Wisconsin.

But on the bright side, I had the luxury of taking some time over the holidays to get away and recharge myself because I know this second half of the winter season is going to be off the charts.

It’s time to get back to work, here’s this week’s ‘Instant Replay’:

Spotlight moment

For the struggles that Oak Hill has had at times this season, Thursday against Valley was not one of those nights.

The Oaks had no problems getting the Indians as Peyton Miller put on her best performance of the season so far as she drilled six triples and finished with 22 points, outscoring the Indians by herself.

Miller is fully capable of being a game-changer with her perimeter shooting, it’s just a matter of getting those shots up more often.

I could write 1,000 great things about Jackson’s Caleb Wallis, and honestly, it still might not be enough for how good he is.

It’s no secret that Jackson’s team revolves around him, but he’s so good at making decisions and finding open teammates.

He continues to average nearly 25 points a game, which is one of the best in Southeast Ohio, but he’s unselfish with the ball, evidenced by his 10 assists against Minford.

Jackson won 17 games last year, but this year’s team has a chance to possibly win 20 games if it can get and stay healthy while Wallis continues to run the show.

Can’t miss games

Three games this week on the schedule make me perk up just a little bit. As the schedule begins to wind down, the games matter ever more than ever as teams start to think about conference titles and tournament seedings.

Starting on Thursday, Oak Hill girls travel to McDermott to play Northwest in an SOC II showdown.

The Mohawks already own a one-point victory over the Oaks, which came on a bank shot from Reagan Lewis with less than three seconds left. Revenge is definitely a factor for this one.

The Oaks (7-5, 5-3 SOC II) are currently in third-place in the SOC II while the Mohawks (11-1, 71 SOC II) are in second-place, so a victory is needed just to keep pace with first-place Wheelersburg.

Skipping ahead to Monday, Vinton County girls travel down to play at Fort Frye in another non-conference road clash.

The Vikings are currently feeling the effects of a brutal three week schedule as they’ve currently suffered back-to-back losses, and are searching for some answers.

Fort Frye on the other hand is coming off a one-point loss to Warren, who the Vikings already defeated earlier this season, but currently sit at 9-2 including a victory over Fairland.

And that game comes just before next Thursday’s TVC clash at Alexander. What a stretch.

Additionally on Monday, Oak Hill girls are back in SOC II action at home against Minford.

Much of how big a game this could be is predicated on how Oak Hill fares against Northwest. If you’ve watched this Oak Hill, its a strange one to figure out who you look at its wins and losses.

But if it can piece together a victory over Northwest, followed by another one over Minford, it’s a great confidence booster going into Wheelersburg on Martin Luther King Day.

Side Note: If you haven’t seen Jumanji: The Next Level, I recommend you do so very soon. Great movie.

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