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Oxford boys jump on Columbus early for final division victory

OXFORD – The Oxford boys were clearly out for revenge from the start. After losing to Columbus 59-53 on the road earlier this year, Friday night the Chargers simply dominated the Falcons. It was an all-around team effort, a total dismantling of Columbus that resulted in a 70-48 victory.

“It was a good win over Columbus, and athletic team. We were really disciplined,” said Oxford head coach Drew Tyler. “I think it was one of our best team wins.”

The boys jumped out to an early lead, one they would never surrender. Oxford would score 11 of the first 15 points, part of one of the more balanced offensive outputs of their season. By halftime, the score was out of reach for the Falcons at 37-16.

“All our guys were valuing the importance of a defensive rebound. We play our best in transition, and we had a lot of transition points in that first half,” Tyler said.

Columbus put up much more of a fight in the second half, but the hole they dug themselves into early proved insurmountable. Things got a bit testy of late and Oxford won the second half by one just point, finishing by a final of 70-48.

Four different players would score in double figures on the night for Oxford, led by Tykel Owens’ 20 points and Kylan Blackmon’s 17 points. These schools will play again next Tuesday in the opening round of the divisional tournament. Tonight’s victory pushed Oxford to 20-5 and 3-3 in the division, good for second place.

“They’ve got some things in his hip pocket they didn’t show tonight, and we’ve got some things we didn’t show defensively,” Tyler said. “But we really proved to ourselves that we can out-rebound taller, longer teams.”

Lady Chargers unable to hang with Columbus

The second quarter really tore the Lady Chargers apart against Columbus, leading to their 57-33 loss on Friday. After trailing just 10-9 after the first quarter, Oxford let Columbus score the first 13 points of the second quarter. The lead, which was just one point early, ballooned quickly to 11 behind a barrage of Falcon three pointers in the second quarter. Oxford would trail Columbus 30-19 at the half.

“We came out and did some good things early, but that’s just a very talented team,” said head coach Cliff Ormon. “We turned the ball over too many times unforced… we couldn’t afford to do that against that team.”

Things in the second half went much like the second quarter, with Columbus slowly extending their lead, winning by a final score of 57-33. It’s a Columbus team that really can shoot the three, with multiple girls able to pull trigger from outside.

“We had to score. That’s our issue. They hit big shots, and their offense did challenge us, but we scored thirty-some points. We have to be in the 50s to be with a team like that, because they can get up and down the court with anybody,” Ormon said.

There are no moral victories at this point of the year, but this was an improvement for the Lady Chargers. This Columbus team is 19-2 and the fourth ranked team in the state. The first time these two schools met, Oxford lost 58-17. The Chargers beat their total from that game in just the first half on Friday, increasing the scoring output by 16. The loss drops the team to team to 14-12 on the year and 1-5 in the division.