By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
The Oxford High School boys and girls varsity basketball teams each had a duo of games last week, the girls taking both games while the boys claimed one.
The girls began their week with a 49-21 win over the Troy Athens Red Hawks on Monday, Feb. 14 and rolled the momentum into Tuesday for a 40-24 win over the Ortonville Brandon Blackhawks. A game against North Farmington on Thursday, Feb. 17 was canceled due to a snow day and is unlikely to be played.
Top players against Brandon were Miranda Wyniemko and Kayla Casper with 11 points each. Wyniemko and Casper along with Allison Hufstedler, Nevaeh Wood and Braydee Elling each made over five rebounds. Top players against Athens were Wyniemko with 16 points and Sophia Raab with 10 points.
“These girls have just impressed me so much with their adversity and overcoming day by day,” said Girls Varsity Head Coach Rachel Bryer. “Even though we do have some losses on our season they have not let that become a focus or hinder their performance. They battle every single game no matter who it is, and as a coach I cannot ask for anything else.”
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The boys began their week after the girls’ Tuesday win by scoring a 50-40 win of their own against the Southfield Arts & Technology Warriors. The boys then traveled south to Troy Athens, taking a 31-35 loss on the road.
While the Athens loss was close by strong defense throughout the first three quarters, Boys Head Coach Steve Laidlaw said late game turnovers were to blame for the team coming up short.
“We had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and only took five shots,” Laidlaw said. “That just is not going to do it, but we were incredible defensively in the first three quarters.”
Key players for the boys were Bryce Esman with 21 points against Southfield, eight points and 12 rebounds against Athens; Logan Rozanski with nine points and nine rebounds against Southfield, seven points against Athens; Mitchell Viviano with six points and nine rebounds against Southfield, seven rebounds against Athens; Jake Champagne with 11 points (including two 3-pointers) against Southfield, two assist against Athens and Alec Brown with eight assists against Southfield, eight points and two assists against Athens.
As the end of the regular season draws near, both teams are looking to finish strong in their OAA leagues and get a good start to MHSAA district play. The girls are further along in the postseason, having already secured an early-March bye and a district playoffs matchup with the Grand Blanc Bobcats at Davison High School at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. The girls stand in third in the OAA White behind first place Rochester and second place Lake Orion. But before then they face Lake Orion on Feb. 22 and Rochester Adams on Feb. 24; both are home and start at 7 p.m. The Feb. 24 game is senior night.
The boys have a few more weeks to go with nearly all upcoming games against OAA Blue opponents. This week they play the Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets on Wednesday, Feb. 23 and OAA Blue challengers the Rochester Falcons on Friday, Feb. 25; both are home and start at 7 p.m. The boys are fourth in the OAA Blue standings behind Seaholm, Rochester and Berkley and will play Seaholm and Berkley next week.
By Dean Vaglia