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Oxford splits home openers with Calhoun City

Life without Jarkel Joiner seems to suit Oxford just fine.

Through the first two games of the season the Chargers have scored 154 points and they’ve come from the committee head coach Drew Tyler said it would take to replace Joiner and Terry Williams.

In their first home game of the season nine players scored in Oxford’s 87-39 win over Calhoun City on Tuesday night inside the OHS gym.

“I’m really pleased with the number of bodies and the number of minutes that some of them got under their belt tonight,” Tyler said.

Calhoun City did not have their full slate of starters with the Wildcats’ football team still in the Class 2A playoffs.

Oxford (2-0) had four players score in double figures with Tucker Scott leading all scorers with 18 points, replicating his performance in Saturday’s win over Belmont where he chipped in 18 points as well.

J.J. Pegues scored 13 points while Drew Bianco scored 13 and Kylan Blackmon added 11 points.

“We’ve got different characters in our story this year,” Tyler said. “Some of the same ones, but they’re sharing a new story with new characters. It’s a fun team to watch.”

After picking up four fouls in the first half, Bianco managed to not pick up another in the final two quarters, scoring 10 of his points.

Tyler has his full slate of players at his disposal with Wadlington and Pegues joining after the football team’s season came to a close after Friday’s loss at Tupelo.

Magnolia Heights transfer Cade McKellar was slated to be Tyler’s ‘quarterback’ on the floor until Wadlington returned but it has become a shared effort sooner than anticipated.
The sophomore scored nine points in his second game with the Chargers.

“Tonight (McKellar) played a little different role,” Tyler said. “Kind of pushed him in the shooting guard spot with Wadlington in-house. That’s a good combination out front. Cade can stretch the defense with his shooting ability and then he can put it on the floor, too.”

Walking wounded
The Oxford girl’s locker room has turned into a M.A.S.H. unit the first week of the season.

Through two games the Chargers have lost key players to injuries, one occured just hours before Tuesday’s 48-39 loss to Calhoun City.

Junior forward Kelsey Wilborn will need surgery on her foot, which was discovered last week before their season opener at New Albany. She will be out for what head coach Cliff Ormon called ‘an extended period of time’ of the season.

During pre-game practice on Tuesday, junior guard Ashley Epps broke her finger. With the injury occuring only a day ago the length of time missed is unknown.

“That’s part of being a coach. You kind of have to adapt and go on and make things happen,” Ormon said.

As for the game itself, senior Christina Owens scored 11 points to lead Oxford (0-2).

Kyla Johnson and Calicia Zinn followed with seven points each. Kemariaha White added six points.

“It’s not attitude that’s hindering up from doing what we want to do on the score board,” Ormon said. “We’ve just got to get some things figured out scoring-wise.”

Calhoun City controlled the game throughout but the Chargers tried to mount comebacks. Turnovers derailed every attempt at getting any closer than six points.

Oxford has a week off before traveling to DeSoto Central on Tuesday for their final games before playing in the Lady Charger Challenge during Thanksgiving break.