Oak Hill wins 'Iolani Classic in double OT


POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An instant classic for the 'Iolani Classic, indeed.

Lamont “;Momo”; Jones poured in 40 points, including eight in the final period, as Oak Hill (Va.) rallied for an amazing 74-62 double-overtime win over Montrose Christian (Md.) last night in the final of the 'Iolani Classic before a sellout crowd. It is the Warriors' fifth 'Iolani Classic crown.

After scoring 29 points in just over a half of play, Jones was completely shut down for a 14-minute stretch with Montrose Christian freshman Justin Anderson hounding him every inch of the floor. That allowed Montrose Christian to rally from an eight-point deficit in the final quarter. Mouphtaou Yarou's follow shot with 1:22 left tied it at 49 to go in regulation.

Coach Stu Vetter's squad seemed on the verge of giving him his first Classic title as Montrose coach in seven tries. A foul shot by Yarou gave the Mustangs a 56-53 lead with 7 seconds left in the first overtime. Yarou's second free-throw try missed, however, and Oak Hill quickly got the ball to Jones.

The 6-foot senior drove in from the right wing, where the 6-foot-5 Anderson backed off to the 3-point arc.

“;He played helluva defense on me, but backing off me, that was an insult to me,”; Jones said.

Jones pulled back and launched a 25-foot fadeaway that hit nothing but net as time expired, forcing a second overtime.

The momentum was all Oak Hill's from that point. The Warriors went on an 8-1 run with a 3-pointer by point guard Pe'Shon Howard - his first field goal of the game - and five straight points by Momo, including a miraculous drive in traffic with the giants. Montrose Christian never recovered.

For Jones, the 40-point output was a career high.

“;I had a feeling. I wasn't trying to lose tonight. It was nothing but heart by our team. We got heart,”; he said.

Oak Hill entered the tournament ranked No. 4 in the ESPN Fab 50 and improved to 19-0 with the stunning win.

“;We want to win the national championship. That's what we work for, what we dream of for four years,”; Jones said. “;Heart will get us there.”;

Jones shot 13-for-23 from the field, including 8-for-13 from the arc, and added three steals. Tiny Gallon added seven points and eight boards.

Villanova-bound Yarou, a 6-10 senior, finished with 23 points and nine caroms for the Mustangs, ranked No. 10 in the USA Today Super 25. Terrence Ross added 13 points and Isaiah Armwood (Villanova) had 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

The first half ended in a 30-all tie after a few runs each way. Oak Hill took a 10-5 lead behind fastbreak layups by Bryon Allen and four points by Jones.

A quick time out by Vetter led to a 10-0 run by the Mustangs, who shut out the Red Devils for the final 3 minutes of the first quarter.

That's when Jones caught fire, drilling five treys in seven tries during the second quarter. The 6-foot senior sank 3-pointers from the corners and wings, and his steal on Yarou on the low post turned into his fifth trey of the quarter and a 30-29 lead shortly before intermission.

The teams will meet again later in a TV game in Washington D.C.