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Area teams set to resume games after layoff

The extended — and impromptu — winter break is over for area high schools with classes beginning again on Friday.

With that comes the resumption of athletic events after a near 10-day layoff for most Oxford and Lafayette teams.

Friday night sees Oxford basketball and soccer teams continuing region play on the road while Lafayette soccer hosts Grenada in key region 2-5A games.

The biggest game on the docket is the Oxford’s boys basketball team taking their 1-0 Region 2-6A record to Columbus. The Falcons (13-6) are also 1-0 after defeating South Panola on Jan. 5. The Chargers (14-2) defeated Tupelo on Jan. 5 and are still undefeated in the state of Mississippi.

The two teams were supposed to meet at Oxford High School last Friday but the first of two winter storms kept that from being possible. They will play in Oxford on Feb. 5 to make up the game.

“I certainly wish we could have had Columbus here before we have them on their own turf,” Oxford head coach Drew Tyler said. “We definitely have had a layoff. We will have a walkthrough (Friday morning), then attend classes and make our way to Columbus. Columbus has played one of the toughest schedules of any team in the state. So, we hope to play well and feel good about our performance.”

Oxford soccer also travels to Columbus for a pair of region 1-6A games. The Lady Chargers have already wrapped up the region title after defeating Tupelo on Jan. 9, which was the last game Oxford has played. The boys fell to Tupelo and are assured the No. 2 seed out of the region if they can win their final two region games, beginning with Columbus.

For Hunter Crane and his girls team, the break was a welcomed one. Knowing their postseason fate and having a slew of injuries during the season it was helpful to get some rest.

“We had gotten into a good rhythm but now we’ve not done anything for almost a week,” Crane said. “Definitely rested now and fully healthy. We’ll spend this weekend and next week trying to make sure we primed going into the playoffs.”

On Saturday Lafayette basketball returns to the hardwood at Saltillo to resume Region 2-5A play. The Lady Commodores are 1-0 after a win at Grenada on Jan. 9. With the extended break the Commodores had to postpone two key region games. West Point was to come to Lafayette last Friday but had to reschedule for Monday. With Saltillo pushing their game from Friday night to Saturday that creates a schedule of three region games in four days. Grenada was already schedule to come to Lafayette on Tuesday (Jan. 23).

“You do what you got to do,” Lafayette girls coach Shayne Linzy said. “We practiced Monday and that’s it. We will get a practice in (Friday) and then it’s time to play ball. But, everyone else is in the same boat.”