Perfect? Just about.

Top-seeded Yarmouth came out fast and never let up, overpowering fourth-seeded Oak Hill 79-49 in a Class B South boys’ basketball semifinal Thursday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

The Clippers scored five seconds into the game, put up 30 points in the first quarter and forced 31 turnovers in advancing to the regional championship game for the second consecutive year.

“To come out on this floor with that kind of play in the first eight minutes was more than I could have expected,” said Yarmouth Coach Adam Smith. “I knew I was going to get the effort. I just didn’t know how well we would jell and play on this floor in the semis.

“The energy was so good, and in high school guys will feed off that energy. I think it affected Oak Hill and made us rise in our game a little bit. It was a perfect situation for us.”

Yarmouth (18-2) will play third-seeded Wells (15-5) in the regional championship game at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at CIA. The Clippers beat the Warriors twice in the regular season, 91-63 and 69-52.

Oak Hill finished 11-9.

The Clippers were on their game from the opening tip, which was converted into a 3-pointer by Gibson Harnett. They never let up, harassing the Raiders, breaking up passes and hitting shots.

It was 30-7 after one quarter, with Yarmouth recording an assist on 10 of its 14 baskets.

“That’s one of our better first quarters this year,” said junior forward Nolan Hagerty. “Shots were falling, we were playing great defense, we were everywhere, hands up. Just like we practiced.”

Oak Hill Coach Thomas Smith called two timeouts in the first quarter to try to slow the Clippers, but the Raiders couldn’t get a handle on the flow of the game. “I think they were a little shell-shocked,” Smith said of his players.

He added that Yarmouth’s size – Hagerty is 6-foot-6, Alek Medenica 6-7 – was a huge difference, as were turnovers. The Raiders had 20 in the first half. “I thought it was more than that,” said Oak Hill’s Smith.

Oak Hill had worked on closing off the inside to Yarmouth. But the Clippers shot so well from the outside – they were 6 of 14 on 3-pointers – that strategy didn’t work.

“They are really quick and they can shoot,” said Oak Hill’s Smith.

Harnett scored 12 points in the first quarter, then Medenica scored 12 in the second as Yarmouth opened a 44-21 halftime lead. Medenica led Yarmouth with 23 points (in just 15 minutes), while Harnett had 19. Hagerty also had a strong game with nine points, nine assists, seven rebounds, six steals and two blocked shots.

Yarmouth showed great teamwork as well, assisting on 23 of its 32 baskets.

“You don’t know when that’s going to happen,” said Yarmouth’s Smith. “We work on it and work on it in practice. Tonight, everything worked for them, and when it clicks, it goes throughout the team, that unselfish play and style.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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