Oxford junior Allison Hufstedler (no. 30) goes up for a shot against Clarkston on Friday. The Wildcats came up short in the OAA Red battle. Photo by John Ransom
By Wendi Reardon Price
INDEPENDENCE TWP. — In the battle of blue and gold in girls basketball – it was Clarkston who came out with a 48-39 win over Oxford last Friday at Clarkston High School.
“Overall I was pretty pleased,” said Aaron Goodnough, head coach for Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball. “Our defense was really good. We played so many close games that by now it is becoming habit. They weren’t panicked.”
“The girls played hard,” said Rachel Bryer, head coach for Oxford. “Having one go down at a crucial time of the game is not ideal, but I thought all the girls came in and contributed and did what they needed to do. It didn’t go all in our favor at some points but it is what it is. We tried to battle back and we did it. We snuck in it for a while and then at the end we just couldn’t pull through.”
Oxford opened the scoring with a basket from Allison Hufstedler. Seconds later Clarkston’s Emily Valencia scored on an outside shot to put the Wolves on the board with three points and added another two points to take the lead. Oxford tied it up with a 3-pointer from Braydee Elling.
The Wolves responded, going on an 8-2 run with four points from Brooklyn Covert, a basket from both Ellery Hernandez and Kate Meyer. They finished the quarter leading 14-9.
Oxford closed the gap in the second quarter with two 3-pointers from Peyton Richter and a 3-pointer from Elling as the half closed with Clarkston leading 24-23.
“We went from leading by five points to one at half time and they weren’t panicked at all,” said Goodnough. “I like them being in those tests, but I also like to see them respond and then pull away at the end.”
The battle continued into the second half with the third quarter finishing with Clarkston leading by one point, 33-32.
Valencia and Elli Robak opened the fourth quarter, both scoring a basket, to lead by five points, 37-35.
Oxford’s Emma Beggs cut the Wolves lead after she scored on a 3-pointer.
“Emma came off the bench and hit a big time three for us when we needed her to do that for us that was a big play,” Bryer said.
Ten seconds later Elia Morgner scored on a basket for the Wolves and the Wildcats responded with three points from Richter.
The last three minutes of the game, the Wolves grabbed the lead, scoring five points before Oxford added one point from the line from Hufstedler.
Hufstedler led with 16 points. Richter had nine points, with three 3-pointers and Elling and six points with two 3-pointers.
Bryer added Elling had a good game on defense.
“We put Braydee on one of their best players, Ellery Hernandez,” she said. “She did a phenomenal job defensive wise. We didn’t really ask anything of her other than playing some phenomenal defense and limit her scoring. She did a great job. We had Allison put some points on the board. She did fairly well.”
The Wildcats opened the week with a 48-33 win over Lake Orion, Jan. 30.
“We got a big win over Lake Orion,” said Bryer. “It’s always hard to play in their gym. It’s a tough gym. They always play hard against us.”
The Wildcats (8-6, 1-3 OAA Red) opened the week on Monday against Rochester. They are back home on Thursday when they take on the Falcons for the second time in the week.
They head to West Bloomfield on Tuesday, Feb. 13. They will face Clarkston again when they host the Wolves on Tuesday, Feb. 27.