OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee High School varsity basketball team is 3-2 headed into the Christmas break.
The Brahmans opened the season with three back-to-back wins over Moore Haven, Fort Pierce Westwood and Clewiston.
In the season-opening game against Moore Haven, the Brahmans won 60-45. Okeechobee got off to a slow start in that game in the first quarter. The Okeechobee defense forced multiple turnovers in the first half, but missed shots on the ensuing fast breaks off those turnovers kept the Brahmans from pulling away from the Terriers. At halftime, Moore Haven trailed by only two points, 20-18.
In the third quarter, though, the Brahmans dominated. Okeechobee outscored the Terriers 22-9. And although Moore Haven was able to tighten things back up in the fourth, the lead the Brahmans had built was too much to overcome.
Okeechobee followed that season-opening win with a dominating performance against the Fort Pierce Westwood Panthers on Dec. 4, winning 72-28.
Unlike their first game, the Brahmans got off to a fast start against the Panthers. OHS led 18-6 after the first quarter thanks to three 3-pointers by junior Daniel Phillips and a few fast break scores by senior Kehkayah Rogers. Phillips would go on to score 17 points during the game, while Rogers would put 10 on the board.
Okeechobee would rely on a fast start again when the Clewiston Tigers made the trip to the top of the lake on Dec. 15. After the first quarter, the Brahmans led 22-5. The Tigers would put 15 points on the board in the second quarter, but the Okeechobee defense held them to single digits for the rest of the game. The Brahmans went on to win 69-36.
Phillips and junior Jayquavious Thomas led the team in scoring with 12 points each.
Okeechobee’s two losses came in close games against Vero Beach and South Fork. The Brahmans fell 67-51 to Vero and lost 88-72 against South Fork.
After the break, the Brahmans face two Treasure Coast teams back-to-back. Okeechobee will be on the road to take on Port St. Lucie on Jan. 7 and at home to host Sebastian River on Jan. 8.