Pioneers Win Regional Semifinal

Will Play at Osceola HS Friday


Joe Kerby Joseph

Senior C.J. Walker rises for the rebound in a district game.

The boys basketball team surged into a double-digit lead in the second half to defeat Tampa Alonso 72-58 in the Class 9A, Region 2 semifinal. The win sends the team into the regional finals to be played Friday. The Pioneers will travel to Osceola High School to play the Kowboys in the regional finals for the third straight season.

Oak Ridge (19-5) led by only a single bucket, 28-26, at the half. The Ravens, playing at home, led early before relinquishing the lead in the second quarter. Early in the third period, Alonso pulled to within two points, but the Pioneers caught fire on offense, scoring 44 points in the second half on 58 percent shooting.

Leading the second-half charge was senior C.J. Walker, who scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half. Alonso finished 24-5.

Next up for the Pioneers is Friday’s 7 p.m. road game at Osceola. The teams met two years ago in Kowboys country, and Osceola pulled out a narrow win when the Pioneers were unable to come up with a buzzer-beater attempt on its final possession. Last year, the Pioneers defeated Osceola 57-53 en route to a 32-4 state championship season.