Cats wrap up regular season, Townsend makes history

Oxford senior Trey Townsend (#4) dunks during the second half of the Wildcats’ loss to the Stoney Creek Cougars on March 2. Classmate Ethan Robinson (#14) looks on. Photo courtesy of Skip Townsend – TZR Sports.

For a team that had hovered within three-games of the .500 mark for the duration of the season, it was kind of fitting the Oxford Wildcats wrap up their regular season at 10-10 (5-7 Oakland Activities Association White).
Holding their traditional pre-game Senior Night festivities, Oxford played their final home game of the campaign on March 2 against the Stoney Creek Cougars, a team two-games ahead of them in the OAA White standings.
Playing his final game at the Ian Smith Gymnasium, senior Trey Townsend propelled the Wildcats to an early lead by hitting his first five three-points attempts. Oxford led, 21-11, after the opening quarter and took a six-point edge, 28-22, into the halftime break.
The Cougars continued to steadily chip away and took their first lead of the night late in the third quarter when junior Trevor Smith, Jr. buried a three-pointer to make the score 42-41. The two teams would trade baskets in the fourth quarter, but Stoney Creek was able to hold on, 56-52.
Townsend scored a game-high 33 points for the Wildcats, fellow senior Ethan Robinson (10 points) was Oxford’s only other player in double-figures. Michael Houston drew the start at point guard in front of his home fans for the final time, playing well and taking care of the basketball in four minutes of action.
Smith, Jr. led the way for the Cougars with 21 points.
“That was a tough one to let get away,” head coach Steve Laidlaw summarized. “Trey (Townsend) was tremendous tonight. We just turned the basketball over too much.
“We had a very nice night for Senior Night, though, and I liked the environment in the gym. Have to put it behind us and finish against a strong Groves team.”
Traveling to Groves High School, the alma mater of Pat Caputo of 97.1 The Ticket and The Oakland Press, on March 5, the Wildcats knocked off the Falcons, 67-64.
The win was the program’s first since topping the Notre Dame Prep Fighting Irish on Feb. 11, snapping a four-game skid.
“Trey was simply phenomenal tonight,” Laidlaw said. “We trailed by 12 at half, by 10 in the fourth, and we just kept playing hard and chipping away.
“(Junior) Zach Townsend grabbed a couple of huge rebounds in the final seconds and sealed it with a couple of free throws at the end.”
Townsend makes history
Trey Townsend established a new career-high with 42 points in Oxford’s season finale victory over Groves.
He also finished the regular season with 445 points, the most in a single-season in school history. Over the Wildcats’ 20 games played, this averages out to 22.25 points per game for Townsend.
One of the most talented athletes to ever attend Oxford High School, Townsend will enter Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) district play with 999 career points, the second-most in program history.
Roger Miller (Class of 1967) is the Wildcats’ all-time leading scorer with 1,120 points, 121 points ahead of Townsend.
If Oxford can go on a run and win a couple of games, who knows, perhaps the No. 1 spot is within striking distance.
Townsend will join the Oakland Golden Grizzlies program in the Horizon League in 2020-21. He is expected to redshirt in year-one and begin playing in games in the 2021-22 season.
Postseason Primer
Hosted by the Clarkston High School Wolves, the Wildcats were placed in the MHSAA’s “District No. 5,” along with the Lake Orion Dragons, Rochester Adams Highlanders, Romeo Bulldogs, Waterford Kettering Captains and, of course, the hometown Wolves.
Oxford received a first-round bye, advancing to the district semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on March 11. The Wildcats will play the winner of the March 9 clash between Clarkston and Rochester Adams.
Lake Orion will play Romeo in the other quarterfinal, with Waterford Kettering awaiting the prevailing team in the

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