Waddell, Frierson combine for 35 of Oxford’s 44 points in season-ending loss to Grenada

Published 8:57 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Oxford did all they could.

The Lady Chargers (13-17, 1-5 Region 1-6A) fought and clawed their way through three quarters of action, but were unable to withstand a late surge from Grenada as they fell 51-44 in the Region 1-6A consolation game.

They struggled to find a consistent offensive rhythm in the early goings, managing just five points in the opening period before finding a bit of a shooting stroke early in the second as they ate into a double-digit first half deficit.

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Senior Olivia Waddell and sophomore C.C. Frierson provided the lion’s share of the production on offense, combining for 35 of the Lady Chargers’ 44 points in the defeat.

Waddell’s performance was made even more impressive by the fact that she was battling a rolled left ankle suffered against Starkville just two nights before.

Her ankle was visibly swelling by the end of the first quarter, but she continued to knock down shot after shot in an attempt to keep Oxford in the game.

“A lot can be said for the last two nights she’s played,” head coach Cliff Ormon said of Waddell’s perseverance in the face of injury. “She’s got a pretty severely rolled ankle and [this] just shows her commitment to her team and the kind of kid she is.”

After tying the game on a three from Waddell in the closing seconds of the first half, Oxford took their first lead of the night early in the third on another three by Waddell.

Grenada roared back with a 13-1 run to retake the lead however as they used precise passes and timely cuts to break down Oxford’s zone and get open looks at the rim.

Needing a spark on offense with Waddell limping up and down the court, Oxford turned to Frierson to generate all of their offense down the stretch.

She started by serving as the de facto point guard on offense, bringing the ball up the court and attacking the basket in an attempt to collapse the defense and get open looks for shooters.

In the fourth, Oxford opted to try and get Frierson downhill by running her off pindown screens at the top of the key, allowing her to curl off the pick and get moving towards the basket with a head of steam.

“I definitely think you’re going to see a whole lot of stuff run through her over the next couple years,” Ormon said. “That’s kind of what I told her tonight. It’s not the night we wanted it to start but that’s what we’re gonna do.”

The moves proved fruitless however as Grenada fended off a late comeback bid to secure the region’s final playoff spot.

“We had to make adjustments and it just wasn’t enough,” Ormon said. “Credit to Grenada because they’re a good team and our kids fought till the very end to give us a chance. We just kind of ran out of plays.”