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Hoopsters hang tough, never say die



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December 16, 2009 - Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Paul Marfia got a little bit of everything during his first week of games with Oxford.

It didn't start off well, as the team lost to an athletic Farmington Harrison team 57-38 on Tuesday, Dec 8. They were led by senior Mike Bertling's 11 points and senior Matt Versteeg's 10 points. senior Tommy Nieman added 10 points and nine rebounds.

The team responded Friday night in their Flint Metro League home opener against Clio in front of a festive crowd.

The contest was even throughout the evening, with the Wildcats jumping out to a 10-7 lead after the first quarter. After being tied at halftime at 18, the Wildcats pulled ahead 31-29, at the end of the third quarter.

However, Clio pulled ahead in the fourth, and the Wildcats had to use a late comeback to pull ahead of the Mustangs. The Wildcats pulled out a thrilling 39-38 victory.

Senior Kevin Cramer led the way with ten points, and Bertling added nine points. junior Chris Calvin chipped in nine points.

"I also thought that Gary Wurtz, Tommy Nieman, Chris Calvin and Max George did a good job on their big player for them, their center inside, Luke Sorenson, holding him to only four points after he scored 26 against Midland," said Marfia.

Sorenson, a 6'11" Senior, was a Detroit Free Press top 100 player in the state.

They took the momentum from Friday's victory and traveled to Flint Kearsley on Monday, Dec. 14. They got off to a slow start, falling behind 22-6 after the first quarter. They battled all the way back to tie the game at 52 at the end of regulation. In overtime, the comeback fell short as Kearsley went 7-8 from the free-throw line to seal the win.

"Great effort and resolve to stick to it and come back the way we did," said Marfia. "I am proud of the kids. I feel we were prepared. We played hard and played as a team."

Nieman had a game high 20 points and six rebounds and junior Tyler Rose came off the bench to score 10 points.

After Friday's night's FML opener, Coach Marfia led an attempt at the world's largest game of Lightning. Curtis Pullium was the lightning champ, defeating 154 other contestants. They are still waiting on verification from Guinness Book of World Records.

The Cats are 1-2 overall, and 1-1 in the FML. They travel to Lapeer West Dec. 18.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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