Beginning the post-Christmas break portion of their schedule with their second consecutive home game, the Oxford Lady Wildcats basketball team hosted the Troy Athens Red Hawks on Jan. 7.
With star junior guard Mackenzie Methner sidelined by a right foot injury, the Wildcats hung with the Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White-leading Red Hawks in the first half but fell apart late, losing 63-41.
The game was tied at eight after the opening frame and the two programs entered the halftime break deadlocked at 16. The third quarter, however, was where the walls caved in for Oxford. Scoring 26 points in the period, Troy Athens opened an 18-point lead and turned on cruise control for the final eight minutes.
Senior Isabelle Crum, one of the OAA’s best scorers, led the Red Hawks’ attack with a game-high 20 points. Classmates Grace Bright (11) and Shayna Landess (10) also scored in double-figures for Stacie Klumpp’s team.
The only Wildcat to reach double-digits, junior Emma Morris was able to tally 17 points. Senior Gabby Dinges, who
seems to possess a knack for being in the right place at the right time, added nine points.
Hoping to prevent this loss from spiraling into a multi-game streak, Oxford then hit the road to battle the Rochester Adams Lady Highlanders on Jan. 9. While the results were slightly more favorable than the Athens defeat, the Wildcats once again came out on the wrong end, 44-36.
A low-scoring affair, the two teams combined for just 14 points in the first quarter and just 27 in the opening half. Like two days prior, unfortunately, the third quarter was the team’s unraveling point. Allowing Rochester Adams to score 17 points in this frame, more than in the first half combined, the Highlanders built a 12-point advantage after three quarters of play, 33-21.
Oxford was able to put 15 points on the scoreboard in the final session, but it wasn’t enough to complete their comeback effort. Morris (11) was the only Lady Wildcat with 10 or more points for the second consecutive game. Dinges (nine) and fellow senior Sarah Tyrrell (six) helped pick up some of the offensive slack while Methner missed her second straight contest.
Rachel Bryer’s team now stands at 4-4 overall and 1-3 in divisional play. Tied with the Troy Lady Colts for a share of fifth-place in the OAA White, they are three games back of the co-leaders, Avondale and Troy Athens, in the loss column.
Rounding out a two-game road swing, Oxford returned to the floor on Jan. 14 against Avondale at 7 p.m. Results from this showdown were not available at the time of this article’s publication.