WALES — St. Dominic was the first team to be overwhelmed this season by Oak Hill’s blend of experience, depth and balance.

It very likely won’t be the last.

Oak Hill took control late in the first quarter and gradually wore down St. Dom’s, holding the Saints to two points in the third quarter to cruise to a 60-28 win in both teams Mountain Valley Conference season opener Saturday.

Oak Hill’s Jamie Prue led all scorers with 17 points, but it was the Raiders’ bench, led by Grace Sabine’s 13 points and Brianna Mulherin’s 12 points, that tipped the balance in the first quarter.

“We’ve got a good bench,” first-year Oak Hill coach Charlie Castonguay said. “We want them to just keep the tempo up and try and wear the other team down. We’ve got that depth, and hopefully, we’re going to take advantage of it the whole season.”

Faith Grady led St. Dom’s with 15 points, while Chloe Dwinell added nine points and nine rebounds.

Oak Hill’s first unit started to quicken the pace midway through the first quarter before the reserves shifted into high gear with a 19-2 run to end the period.

Prue sparked the run with the first two of her eight points of the quarter to put the Raiders in front to stay at 7-6. Sara Noel got in on the act with a long jumper, then Sabine and Mulherin started doing their damage inside as the Raiders opened up a 24-8 lead.

“When we brought that second group in, they just took off,” Castonguay said. “The fresh legs are an advantage, and (St. Dom’s) obviously doesn’t have the depth and a lot of young kids.”

“We’re a veteran team,” said starting senior center Meagan Crosby, who had two points in her first game back since breaking a leg during last year’s tournament. “There are seven seniors on the team and we have freshmen and sophomores stepping up to the plate, too. We all can play multiple roles on the team, so it’s really good.”

Mulherin sparked the 11-0 second-quarter run that put the game away with six points. Prue, who attacked the hoop in the first quarter, started heating up from the outside with a pair of 3-pointers.

The Raiders forced 16 Saints turnovers in the first half and went to the locker room with a comfortable 42-18 lead.

“I’ve got two kids that have varsity experience that was meaningful last year, so we’re just trying to get better,” St. Dom’s coach Jon Berry said. “You take a team like Oak Hill and instead of saying what do we have to do to combat them, we have to take their talent and their physicality and learn from it and rise to it.”

Oak Hill continued pouring it on in the third quarter, limiting St. Dom’s to a basket by Dwinell, while Prue and Mulherin each hit from long range to extend the lead to 52-20.

“We have 10 players back from last year’s team. We don’t skip a beat,” Castonguay said. “That’s one thing we found out when we went to camps this summer, that putting those kids in sometimes we came back against teams that I was surprised we could come back against.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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