April 30, 2016

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BLOG: Wayne County ends Oxford’s season again

 JACKSON — Oxford’s defense kept things interesting, but the Chargers were once again suffocated by Wayne County’s quickness and athleticism on the other end in a 46-43 loss in the MHSAA Class 5A quarterfinals Friday at the Mississippi Coliseum, ending their season against the War Eagles in the same round for the second straight season.

Oxford (20-10) trailed by as many as 10 in the second half but made a push down the stretch. Terry Williams’ 3-pointer followed by a putback by D.K. Metcalf and a steal and ensuing layup from Joiner drew the Chargers even at 40 with 1:09 remaining.

Oxford had a chance to grab its first lead after another stop, but Terry Williams was stripped near midcourt by Xavier Chambers, who went the other way to put the War Eagles (21-9) back in front. Joiner hit a 3 with 4 seconds left to get Oxford within one, but Pough hit two free throws before Wayne County stole Oxford’s final inbound pass to end the Chargers’ second-lowest point output of the season.

It was a struggle against Wayne County’s equally-as-fast guards and collapsing zone defense for Joiner, who came in averaging 27 points a game but finished with just 14. All of his points came in the second half with half of them coming from the free-throw line.

He was just 3 of 20 from the field as Oxford shot 30.4 percent (14 of 36) for the game and just 20 percent (3 of 15) from 3-point range. Williams added 13 points while Metcalf finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne County wasn’t much better, shooting 34 percent (17 of 50) from the floor and just 23.5 percent (4 of 17) from deep. Pough was the only Wayne County player in double figures with a game-high 16 points.

Wayne County scored the game’s first seven points and continued to make getting clean looks difficult for Oxford, which had just one field goal through a quarter and one 3-pointer in the first half to trail by as many as 12 in the first two quarters.

Oxford’s defense matched its counterpart to keep the deficit from growing as no player had more than eight points at halftime. A steal by Joiner and ensuing dunk by Metcalf got the Chargers within six before Pough answered with a deep 3 as time expired on the half to send the War Eagles to the locker room with a 22-13 lead before a back-and-forth second half went the War Eagles’ way again.

See Sunday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of Friday’s game.