The Oxford Chargers and Lady Chargers participated in the annual Charger Challenge held at the OHS Gym on Monday and Tuesday. Both teams combined to come away 3-0 during the two-day event.
Oxford’s game on Monday against Cleveland Central was cancelled due to COVID-19 cases within the Cleveland Central team, but the Lady Chargers were able to play their game against the Aberdeen Lady Bulldogs Tuesday and came away victorious 52-49, but as coach Cliff Ormon pointed out, there is still work to be done before his team is ready for division play.
“I think we’re a B team right now tops,” Ormon said about the progress of his team through Thanksgiving. “I think we’ve done some A work, but if you average it all together, we’re just not putting together long periods of basketball that are able to extend leads or finish games out the way we are like. We won the game (Tuesday), it’s good to go on break with that win. I thought Audria Houston stepped up in the fourth quarter and finally got us going finishing at the rim stronger.”
Houston finished with a game-high 22 points to lead Oxford (3-5 overall). Keyunna Tellis added 11 for the Lady Chargers to cap off the double-digit scorers for Oxford. Janiyah Haskins led Aberdeen (3-5) with 17. Oxford led 29-25 at halftime, but Aberdeen led 38-37 after three quarters.
Oxford was able to get above .500 on the season with a 67-38 victory over Pillow Academy Monday and a 72-52 win over Aberdeen Tuesday. For Oxford coach Drew Tyler, the offensive plan has improved after the 69-56 loss to Lake Cormorant last Thursday after learning about what shooting decisions to take and not to take. Even though Tyler doesn’t have his football players yet on the team, a total of five players on the basketball roster are still playing in football, he feels like he is starting to know his team a little better through the first seven games of the season.
“We want to play high-percentage basketball. In November, I give a green light to most of my players on the offensive end,” Tyler said. “We learn where our strengths and weaknesses are, but in mid-December I reel them in and we play to their individual strengths. From the Lake Cormorant loss, I kinda reeled the team in on some dos and don’ts on the offensive end where the ball needs to be and it actually leads to people scoring in different areas at different times.”
Chase Rose and Derrius Southern each had 19 points to lead Oxford (4-3) against Aberdeen (2-3). Omari Frierson chipped in 10 for the Chargers. Nine players scored for Oxford in the second half after Rose and Southern combined to score 29 of the 40 first half points. Jeremiah White and Jenari Bell led Aberdeen with 14 points each. Aberdeen led Oxford 20-17 after the first quarter, but Oxford led 40-30 at halftime and cruised to the win and wasn’t seriously threatened in the second half.