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For Hayles siblings, basketball is a family affair

Whenever Oxford and Lafayette match up on the football field, baseball diamond or any other sport the two schools compete in, it is always an intense contest.

For one family that rivalry takes on a more personal meaning on the basketball court.

Jesse and JC Hayles are assistant coaches on Lafayette and Oxford girls basketball teams, respectively.

Jesse has been with the Commodores for three seasons while JC is new to Oxford, coming over with new head coach Cliff Ormon.

Even though it was the first year brother and sister faced off against each other, the crosstown rivalry is nothing new for either of them as their stepfather Tim Wilder used to coach at Lafayette.

“I figured out real quick how (the rivalry) was,” Jesse said. “Then (JC) told me he was going to take the job at Oxford I was like, ‘Alright, well you better be ready. You better be ready.”

The Chargers and the Commodores squared off against each other only once this season, with that game happening on Dec. 18 inside the LHS gym.

Lafayette got the upper hand, defeating the Lady Chargers 55-40 and giving Jesse bragging rights for a year over her brother.

“It was definitely an eye-opening experience,” JC said. “I had heard people talk about how big of a game this is, how big of a deal that it is. And now I see it and I think it’s great.”

Before the game the Hayles had a family Christmas dinner and JC tried to pick his sister’s brain for any pointers he could manage to get out of her.

“She’s competitive,” JC said. “She didn’t want to share it and we’ve been competitive with each other growing up so, it’s always great and always fun.”

JC comes to Oxford after spending the last two years as the head basketball coach for the Hickory Flats girls team. The two years prior to that JC was an assisant for Ormon at Myrtle which allowed the two to reconnect at Oxford where he coaches the seventh and eighth grade teams on top of his varsity team duties.

The family dynamic continues as Jesse also helps out with the junior high basketball teams at Lafayette as an assistant coach.

With a vast wealth of knowledge between the two, the siblings lean on each other for advice and help as long as it’s not about the other’s team.

“We talk about junior high teams and who we play coming up,” JC said. “(Lafayette) coach (Shayne) Linzy and everyone on the staff helps us with teams that we play in high school down the road. It’s a great, friendly competiton, but we want to win.”