Oxford basketball sweeps New Hope as boys claim 2-5A crown
It was the final regular-season games at home for the Oxford High basketball teams and the Chargers made sure they closed the home slate out in style on Senior Night. Oxford swept New Hope, and the season series, with a pair of wins inside the OHS gym on Friday night.
Each game offered tense moments as well as come-from-behind victories, including the boys’ 73-69 win in the nightcap of the doubleheader. The win gave Oxford the Region 2-5A regular-season crown as well as the No. 1 seed in the region tournament, which will be played at New Hope starting Feb. 14.
After trailing the entire first half, the Chargers (20-6, 5-1 2-5A) used a big third quarter, which began with a 17-4 rally to start the second half, to climb back into the game with New Hope. It was a see-saw affair the rest of the way with Oxford falling behind again only to come back thanks to a late three-pointer from senior point guard Jarkel Joiner with a handful of seconds left to pull ahead 71-69. Fellow senior Terry Williams would make a layup to ice the game for the winning margin.
“I thought we were patient and we found open people,” Oxford head coach Drew Tyler said. “Coming out at halftime, we got (Joiner and Williams) rested. Joiner was drawing a second body and it was freeing up Williams, who was able to hit some shots. When we got scorers like Joiner and Williams, if we got the ball, I feel good about scoring on the offensive end.”
Joiner finished with a game-high 30 points while Williams scored 22 points. Drew Bianco added 12 points and J.J. Pegues chipped in nine.
New Hope (17-8, 3-3) was paced by Terryonte Thomas’ team-high 20 points while Tyler Stevenson scored 14 points. The Trojans’ 7-foot, 215-pound center, Andrew Junkin, added nine points.
Girls claim No. 2 seed
After trailing by as many as 10 points late in the first half, junior Jordan Freeze rattled off seven points in about a minute, jumpstarting what would become a 32-19 run the remainder of the game and the Oxford girls defeated New Hope 51-48. The win gave the Chargers (9-16, 4-2) the No. 2 seed in the region tournament.
“I thought throughout the game we were playing with effort, we just were not executing very well,” Oxford head coach Cliff Ormon said. “Offensively, again, it was kind of a struggle at the beginning. … It was a good win. We needed this heading into our division tournament.”
The key to the game came down to free throws. New Hope went 0-for-10 at the charity stripe wile Oxford hit 21 of their free-throw attempts.
Sophomore Kelsey Wilborn was the offensive spark for the Chargers, scoring a game-high 21 points. Freeze finished with 14 points.
New Hope (14-9, 3-3) was led by Alaysha Jennings’ 10 points while Jada Jamison scored eight.
In between the games, Oxford honored their senior cheerleaders, basketball players and managers during their Senior Night festivities. The biggest moment of the night did not happen during the game as Ormon and the Lady Chargers honored their lone two seniors in Tiara King and Taliyah Gross. Neither have been able to play as their senior season was taken away from them due to a car wreck taking place days before the season began.
“A great moment for them,” Ormon said. “You think back what it would have been like with them on the floor. … They are both getting better, and it was definitely a great night for them. Even though they were on the floor, these girls wanted to send them off the right way.”
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