By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
OXFORD – With the defending track state champions in their respective classifications squaring off on the hardwood, it was no surprise the result was a fast-paced and high-scoring game.
Coldwater and Oxford, both title contenders in basketball as well, used their team speed to put on an offensive showcase which the Lady Chargers won 85-68.
“Once we had a chance to clamp on the ball offensively we were gone,” Oxford coach Shayne Linzy said. “It’s that rhythm, we want to get in as fast as we can go.”
The Lady Chargers took advantage of 12 steals to create points off fast breaks. Dandy Dozen guard Erika Sisk scored the majority of her game-high 29 points on breakaway layups.
Oxford also turned offensive rebounds into points. Post players Alexus Malone and Meisha Gillom used put backs to reach double figures, scoring 14 and 12 points respectively. For the game, Oxford recorded 17 offensive boards and outrebounded the Lady Cougars (22-6) 42-28.
Sisk, a Murray State signee, faced off with another Division I talent in Coldwater’s Jerontay Clemons. A Dandy Dozen guard herself who will play at Southern Miss next season, Clemons scored 25 points to pace the Lady Cougars.
“They (Sisk and Clemons) just play within the confines and understand the essence of the game,” Coldwater coach Wert Spiva said.
The win capped a perfect 26-0 regular season for the Lady Chargers, something Linzy did not think was out of reach for his team when the season started.
“I felt like there was a good chance that if we came to play every single night that we had an excellent chance of winning every game that we played,” said Linzy. “I felt that way in the beginning of the season and I feel that way today carrying on.”
Oxford will host the Division 2-5A Tournament next week and won the bid for the Class 5A North Half Tournament the following week.
(B) Oxford 72, Coldwater 52: The Chargers (20-8) avenged an earlier season loss to Coldwater (21-5) on the back of Justin Fondren’s 19 points.
Chris Vortis and Marcel Newson both tallied 13 points to lead the Cougars, the state’s top ranked 1A team.