Any win in a hostile environment is a big one. But one in the playoffs? That’s a measuring stick for where you’re headed as a team. For Heidelberg, that’s the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. The Oilers are now just a win away from punching their ticket to Jackson after knocking off North Forrest, 51-48, Tuesday night.
“That’s the good thing about playing at home. You’ve got your homeboys and family,” Heidelberg head coach Billy Wright said. “We probably bought up a good 100 people, but they got 300 or 400 up in here. That’s the difference.
“We’re young. Freshman point guard, sophomore two guard. We’re just young. So games like this will help us get better.”
It didn’t come easy against the Eagles, who fought back from several double digit deficits to make Tuesday’s game interesting.
The latest came in the final minute of the fourth quarter. Jo Holloway’s three-point basket with five seconds left pulled North Forrest to within one point, 49-48, of Heidelberg. Following two made Oiler free throws, the Eagles had a chance to send the game into overtime with a three-pointer, only to miss as the clock hit double zeros.
“Gotta give kudos to those guys,” Wright said. “They hustled and wanted to win. North Forrest is a hell of a team.”
Leon Jones led North Forrest with 15 points in the loss. Holloway added 14 for the Eagles, who finish the season at 13-12.
Cadarrius Wilson poured in 15 points on five three-pointers to lead Heidelberg.
“Junior kid. A late starter as the year went on,” Wright said of Wilson. “Worked hard all year and got better and better. He really bailed us out tonight.
“Proud of the guys. We set goals at the beginning of the year, and we’re trying to finish them now. Gotta keep on working.”
Heidelberg (11-18) will face Amite County in the second round this Saturday.