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Oxford blows out Lafayette in first cross-town hoops meeting of season

It took just about one quarter for all in attendance at Oxford High School on Friday night to realize the to-be-determined outcome.

Oxford’s boys jumped out to a 23-3 lead to start the first of two meetings with their cross-town rival Lafayette, going on to win 84-48.

“I like the energy that we brought from the opening tip. I loved the energy, camaraderie and consistent play we had,” said Oxford coach Drew Tyler. “The tempo tonight was great except for a little dull in the third quarter. Cross-town rivalry game, we played our game so that’s good.”

The Chargers, playing their first home game since their trip to Washington D.C., got off to an incredibly hot start. Tykel Owens hit his first two three-pointers of the game and connected with Kylan Blackmon for a fast break alley-oop early all in the opening minutes. The two combined for 21 of 23 Oxford points in the first quarter alone.

Lafayette upped their scoring in the second quarter, getting good minutes in limited action from Mario Wilbourn, still integrating himself into the team post-football season. The game went to half 39-15 Oxford.

The Commodores came out of halftime much more in rhythm on both sides of the ball. They scored the first four points of the second half and blocked five Oxford shots around the rim in the third quarter. It was just far too little too late. It was certainly the most completive quarter, but Oxford still outscored Lafayette in the frame 14-12. Both teams playing mostly the end of the their benches the whole fourth quarter, Oxford won the game 84-48.

“We challenged them at the half to play more aggressively,” said Lafayette coach Brad Gray. “The first half we were back on our heels and playing very timid. It kind of looked like we were walking on eggshells out there. We just told them you have to get out there and compete. Don’t think. Just play.”

As mentioned in their first-quarter dominance, the Oxford duo of Tykel Owens and Kylan Blackmon really set the tone for the night on both ends of the floor. The two Chargers combined for 41 points, 21 from Owens and 20 from Blackmon in the two seniors’ second to last chance to play Lafayette in their careers.

Oxford also played this game without JJ Pegues and Dude Person, both of whom will be returning to the team next week following the final conclusion of football.

“We’re missing two key pieces to the puzzle in Pegues and Person,” Tyler said. “I like where we’re at and those guys will just help. We have the ability to score from a lot of different places and we’re valuing rebounds. Will be fun to get them back.”

With the win, Oxford advances to 8-5 on the early season. Lafayette drops to 0-8. The two schools meet again on Jan. 14 at Lafayette.