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Lady Commodores stay perfect in crosstown split with Oxford

OXFORD — Throughout the first 11 games of the season no game has been the same for Lafayette. That remained true for game No. 12 as the Lady Commodores defeated crosstown rival Oxford 48-28 inside the Lafayette High gym on Friday.

Lafayette remained perfect on the season, improving to 12-0 while ending Oxford’s winning streak at nine games.

“We talked today about know your role. This is a big rivalry game,” Lafayette head coach Shayne Linzy said. “What I’m starting to like with this team is they’re taking the shots they’re supposed to be taking. They may miss some of them but they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re staying within their roles.”

The recipe for success has been the play of Azariah Buford, Mariah Holland and Kimaya Dixon. Against Oxford the trio combined for 42 points with Buford and Dixon each scoring 15 and Holland adding 12.

The Lady ‘Dores led wire-to-wire and used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to grab the early 15-2 lead after the first eight minutes. The second and third quarters were more competitive with the Lady Chargers (9-4) outscoring Lafayette 11-9 in the third quarter.

The task was tall from the start for Oxford who had to play without a key player. Senior Ashley Epps suffered an ankle injury during practice on Wednesday as sat out Friday’s game.

Kelsey Wilborn led the Chargers with 9 points, Nina Lewis scored 6 and Kemariaha White added 3 points.

“There’s no doubt losing Ashley was a loss,” Oxford head coach Cliff Ormon said. “I’m won’t say it was the difference in the game. We knew (Lafayette) was going to be tough, they’re a very good team. I think she could have helped us but overcoming 20 points, I don’t know that. We talked about going into this game that wasn’t going to be an excuse for us.”

Chargers roll to win

In Drew Tyler’s 52nd game against Lafayette as head coach the Chargers picked up another victory over their rival in a 67-45 win.

It is a different style of offense this year for Oxford (11-2) who are relying more on the transition game to score than in season’s past. It was a successful approach the Chargers able to get penetration at the basket for the easy layup.

“We wanted to speed the pace of the game up to lead to easy shots, layups and hopefully gets the numbers 2-on-1, 3-on-2,” Tyler said. “I thought Byron Pearson and Tykel Owens did a good job of speeding the game up. When you speed the game up like we did, you still have defensive assignments that you have to go find. So, we were actually getting back and handling our defensive scheme also.”

Through their first 10 games, the word Brad Gray would use to describe his team is ‘inconsistent.’ Coming off their 60-58 win at South Panola last Monday, the Commodores (2-8) struggled to string points together against Oxford.

“We show bright spots at times and at times we regress,” Gray said. “Right now we’re like a roller coaster. We’re just up and down, up and down. It’s frustrating at time because I know the talent level that we have and the athletes that we have. To see us get out there sometimes and not give it our best effort and best energy is kind of frustrating. I know it’s going to take time.”

Owens led the Chargers with 19 points, Kylan Blackmon and Pearson each scored 13 and J.J. Pegues chipped in 11 points. Kylen Gillom led Lafayette with 10 points, Dorian Webb scored 8 points and Kye Woodall added 6.