By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
On the heels of a sparkling season that saw her establish herself as one of the best players in the Oakland Activities Association (OAA), Oxford Wildcats 2021 guard Emma Morris earned All-North Team honorable mention from the Detroit Free Press’ Mick McCabe on May 15.
The Ladycats’ leading scorer in 2019-20 at 13 points per game, Morris shot nearly 36 percent (46-130) from three-point range and pulled down 4.1 rebounds per game for head coach Rachel Bryer’s squad.
In addition to her Free Press honorable mention, Morris received All-OAA White honors for her performance from the league’s coaches on March 19.
“I really wanted to have a good season,” Morris shared. “I wasn’t expecting or thinking about these awards, but it’s nice to be recognized.
“My coach (Bryer) and my mom were the first ones to tell me about the Free Press, it’s definitely an honor.”
With three of Oxford’s five 2019-20 starters, Gabby Dinges, Aleah Dymond and Sarah Tyrrell, graduating in the Class of 2020, Morris and classmate Mackenzie Methner will be counted on as Bryer’s veteran leaders in 2020-21.
“I’m definitely going to miss the friendships I had with them,” Morris said of the departing seniors.
“It’s going to be very weird without them at first because they were such big parts of my life. We were good friends outside of basketball, as well as being teammates.
“I am looking forward to my senior year and being a captain, though. I want to be able to pass those experiences they gave me down to the girls coming up right now.”
Showcasing her versatility as an athlete, Morris also plays center field for head coach Kenny Allen’s softball program at Oxford High School. A right-handed hitter, she hopes to continue her softball career at the collegiate level.
Unfortunately, her junior campaign on the diamond was wiped out by the school closure, but she has been in contact with a couple of collegiate programs.
Despite Morris’ strong play on both ends of the floor, the 2019-20 Wildcats finished with a 6-15 (2-10 OAA White) record. The team began the year 4-2, but was dealt a major blow when Methner, the team’s point guard and quickest girl on the roster, broke her right foot over Christmas break, sidelining her for the remainder of the season.
“This past season was rough with our record being what it was, but I feel like it was a great growing experience for us,” Morris said.
“We had a bunch of new girls on the team. We only had five returning players (from 2018-19) and Mackenzie (Methner) was one of them.
“As frustrating as it was at times, I feel like I learned a lot about myself and my teammates, and I think having a lot of girls coming back with a year of experience under their belts now will help us have a different atmosphere next year because we definitely want to win more games.”
While Morris and Methner will likely be the driving forces for the 2020-21 Wildcats, Bryer returns several other contributing pieces, as well.
2021 guards Makenzie Brown and Charlotte McClenaghan will add to an experienced backcourt and forward Brooke Zeiter proved to be an effective rebounder spelling Dymond last season. 2022 guard Kayla Casper was promoted to the varsity roster near the end of last year and 2023 guard/forward Miranda Wyniemko is an intriguing left-handed prospect, too.
The OAA will be returning to their four-division format in 2020-21. As a result, Oxford will be moving down one level to the Blue division. Made up of six teams, the Blue will also feature the Avondale Yellowjackets, Berkley Bears, Lake Orion Dragons, Rochester Falcons and Troy Athens Red Hawks.