Oakdale Boys Basketball Strives for First State Title


Stone Sinnett and John Rickert

In the Oakdale Bears short history, the basketball team has reached the state championship once, and the state tournament three times. The 2014 Oakdale Bears basketball team defeated Patterson Mill in the state semifinal to reach the 2014 2A state final, where they faced Potomac High School.


Leading Potomac High School was Maryland commit Dion Wiley, ranked 52nd in the class of 2014 according to ESPN basketball recruiting, Memphis commit Walter Brodie, and Providence commit Quadree Smith. In comparison, the Bears had one Division 1 recruit, Zach Thomas. Throughout most of the game, Oakdale was able to keep within five points. Unfortunately, when the fourth quarter began Potomac was able to show their superior athleticism and run away with the game.


The Bears have failed to reach the state championship since; however, they have threatened a run each year. This year the Bears are striving to reach the state title again. Most years, Oakdale has had a tough road in the playoffs to make it to Xfinity.


This year may be their easiest path to the state tournament after moving down to 2A. According to maxpreps.com, Oakdale is ranked first in the 2A standings, making them the favorites to be crowned state champions. In their region, Williamsport is ranked second, a team Oakdale beat by thirty-seven points on the road.


Senior guard Isaiah Thomas stated: “We are a very good team, other 2A schools do not want to see us in the playoffs. With the way we can shoot and defend, we’re a matchup nightmare.”


Before Oakdale starts their playoff run, they will likely play in the CMC championship against another Frederick County foe. Since 2013, Oakdale has won all but one conference championship, with their lone down year coming in 2016 when only three seniors were on the roster. Standing at first place in the conference, the Bears are trying to make it five conference championships in six years.


The Bears only roadblock to this championship could be their inconsistent shooting. In their first game against Thomas Johnson High School, it seemed as if the players could not miss a shot. In one of their more recent games against Tuscarora (7-5), The Bears only made two threes, with one of them being a half court huck at the end of the first half. For the Bears to score more, point guard Drew Jezioro wants his teammates to “get out on transition” after a defensive rebound. “It’s what we do best.”


The Bears road to the Xfinity center will likely go through the Bear Den. Oakdale will lock up the no. 1 seed in the 2A West region with a few more wins and will play each of their playoff games at home until the state semifinals.


Jezioro believes the key to a deep playoff run is defense: “We’ve been giving up too many easy buckets. We’ll have to step up the defensive intensity to make it to Xfinity.” Drew also stated that their “shooting must be on par during each and every game during the playoffs. We can’t afford a game where we aren’t shooting well.”  


Oakdale has both the talent and work ethic to win States, currently 13-1 after a second win against Walkersville, and they hope to keep their current 9-game winning streak going through the rest of the season. This may just be the Bears’ year.