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PAWS basketball team dominates Lake Orion

Richard (R.J.) Kanan makes his move. (click for larger version)
March 05, 2014 - Everybody deserves a moment in the sun.

For members of the Oxford PAWS Special Olympics basketball team that moment came Feb. 26 when they beat Lake Orion 38-22.

The Ian Smith gymnasium at OHS was packed to the rafters with screaming fans, cheering their team on to victory.

Having the entire school – students, cheerleaders, the band, teachers – supporting them and making them feel like they're truly part of the OHS family was very special to the players, according to Coach Jeanne DiCicco.

"I think that was more exciting for them than actually winning the game," she said. "It gave them a huge boost of confidence and (feeling of) acceptance."

"They love playing in front of everybody and showing the abilities they have – that they can play a competitive sport like anyone else," DiCicco added.

The Lake Orion game proved to be a great warm-up for district play. The PAWS won both of their Division 2 district finals games on March 1 in Northville. Oxford beat the Hot Shots 35-30, then defeated the Lockhorns 52-35.

Oxford advances to the state tournament, which will be held March 21-22 in Rockford.

This will be the second time in three years Oxford's gone to the state tournament. Two years ago, the team won the championship.

DiCicco thanks the Oxford staff, students, community and parents for all their support.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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