Oxford girls basketball falls to Clarkston in final OAA Red game of the season

Oxford senior Peyton Richter takes a shot over a Clarkston Wolves defender during the girls varsity basketball game on Feb. 27. The Wildcats lost a close four-point game to the Wolves in their last OAA Red match-up of the regular season. Oxford (10-11) will now take on Davison (4-16) in the MHSAA District 32 semifinal at 7 p.m. today at Grand Blanc High School. See page 6 for more Wildcat Sports. Photo by Larry Wright

Oxford to take on Davison in district semis

By Wendi Reardon Price
Sports Writer
OXFORD — The Wildcats celebrated their four seniors, Braydee Elling, Peyton Richter, Abigail Snable and Lexie Yankee, in their last home game of the regular season with a close battle against Clarkston, which ended in a 29-25 loss on Feb. 27.
“I wasn’t shocked that was what happened tonight,” said Aaron Goodnough, head coach for Clarkston, adding especially since it was senior night for the Wildcats. “I knew that they would come out and be really fired up, and they were.”
“We are working on things,” said Rachel Bryer, head coach for Oxford. “We are throwing a lot of pieces at the girls and ideas. We are trying to prepare ourselves for districts. And at times, we had a lapse in judgement and decision making and didn’t take care of the ball. Clarkston capitalized on it. Unfortunately, things like that happen. As far as building a repertoire and defense. We are throwing a lot at them and I see it working but needs more time.”
The Wolves closed the first quarter with a 8-7 lead with 3-pointers from Ellery Hernandez and Claire Walker.
Hernandez scored another 3-pointer in the next quarter and Emily Valencia scored on a basket for the only points in the quarter.
Oxford outscored Clarkston to close the first half with a 16-13 lead with four points from Mia Champagne, two points from Allison Hufstedler and a 3-pointer from Emma Beggs, which sealed the lead with 90 seconds left in the half.
“We played really sloppy and really struggled against their zone,” said Goodnough. “We kept calling time outs and calling the same things. We would get it and not look at it or we wouldn’t get it because we wouldn’t get to the right positions. Oxford’s head coach Rachel Bryer is a good coach, and I knew she was never going to get out of it until she had to, I wouldn’t.”
Both teams battled for the lead during the third quarter, which ended with Oxford taking a two point lead with eight seconds left with two successful shots on the free throw line from Elling.
The Wolves took a one point lead off a basket from Brooklyn Covert, 26-25. They would finish the night with Elia Morgner being sent to the free throw line twice, making 3-of-4 shots.
Allison Hufstedler led with eight points and had two 3-pointers. Mia Champagne and Elling each scored six points.
Oxford finished the regular season with a 67-36 loss to Detroit Country Day on Thursday.
“Going into the season, we knew that we have a competitive season,” Bryer said. “We scheduled it that way. We play Detroit Country Day – they are a phenomenal team. It was planned that way to have a non league to get ready. It just so happens we got into the OAA Red that is an awesome league. It’s been a battle all year with teams and it’s never been an off night for us. I am just happy the girls are staying positive.”
She added the team is ready and have stepped up throughout the season, especially when Sophia Raab went out due to injury.
“Any one of my girls will step into a spot,” Bryer sid. “They are not afraid to say I am going to get in there and I am going to try it out. My main concern is keeping their energy up, making sure they’re positive, keep building on what they have and not giving up. The last thing a coach wants to see in districts is them giving up on a setback. I have never had that with my girls. They have always competed. I just want to see them compete, have a good time, and enjoy each other – that’s all I can ask for.”
The Wildcats (10-11, 3-7 OAA Red) plays Davison in the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Basketball District 32 semifinal today, March 6 at 7 p.m. The winner plays in the district final on Friday, 7 p.m. The district is held at Grand Blanc High School. The district champion plays in the Regional 9 Semifinal at Walled Lake Northern on Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

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