OHS hoops teams falter in first round of region tournament

Published 11:10 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

By Jared Redding

TUPELO — For the third straight meeting, Oxford went toe-to-toe with the Tupelo Golden Wave for three consecutive quarters and again couldn’t finish the job.

In a game of runs and momentum swings, the Chargers were undone by a late surge and fell 74-60 in the first round of the MHSAA Region 1-6A basketball tournament against host team Tupelo on Tuesday.

The Golden Wave proved to be the main aggressor early with a handful of fast break buckets to have an edge early before Oxford took their first lead of the game with 2:30 left in the opening quarter thanks multiple three-point baskets from DJ Davis and Baylor Savage. However, slowly but surely, Tupelo clawed their way back in it and took a 40-35 lead going into the locker room.

Despite the Chargers coming out in the third quarter with a 9-0 run, it was quickly forgotten due to a massive 22-4 Tupelo at the end which ultimately decided the game.

“As far as putting it out of reach for us, it’s deja vu for the third time,” OHS boys basketball coach Drew Tyler said. “We played good basketball enough to know that we can play with and possibly beat a team like Tupelo who is loaded. We have to play a complete four quarters to beat a team like Tupelo.”

At the end of the night, Davis led the Chargers with 24 points, half of which were scored in the first quarter alone.

“That’s why he’s on the first team Region 1-6A regular season team. This is a state championship region. His play has been there for these region games. Tonight just validated what he did in the regular season,” Tyler said.

On Friday, the Chargers put their 23-year playoff streak on the line when they take on Grenada once again at Tupelo for the consolation match. Grenada is a team Oxford swept in the regular season. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

“We expect to go again,” Tyler said. “We have to value the rebound and hold them to one shot per trip. We have to get into the bonus early and get to the free throw line. Those are keys going into Friday night.”

Lady Chargers rolled by Tupelo in girls action

Once again, the Lady Chargers had few answers for the Tupelo Lady Wave as they fell by the final of 66-27. Oxford’s defense did what they could, but failed to get going offensively throughout the night, particularly early. Oxford’s first field goal of the game didn’t come until the 2:22 mark of the opening quarter.

“Tupelo has a really good team, a lot of weapons on the floor with tall and rangy athletes. They crashed the boards and shot the ball really well. They hit some threes early, which stretches your D. We tried to mix it up. Just couldn’t find a way to make a basket,” OHS girls basketball head coach Cliff Ormon said.

Olivia Waddell led the Lady Chargers with eight points, followed by seven points from Kaylin Mathis and six points from Hannah Johnson.

“We were hoping to get something going and play off Saturday night where we shot the ball pretty well. Just never started from the beginning. Tupelo had a lot to do with that, the way they guarded and put pressure on us in all five spots,” Ormon said.

Oxford will look to keep their season alive on Friday as they face Grenada in the consolation game. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.