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Split week for hoopsters in OAA Blue



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January 12, 2011 - The varsity boys basketball team split their first two Oakland Activities Association blue division games this week against Birmingham Groves and Bloomfield Hills Lasher.

A strong second half against Groves on Friday, Jan. 7 propelled Oxford to it's first ever OAA blue division win.

They outscored Groves 29-17 in the second half to cruise to a 57-42 victory.

Oxford jumped out to a 19-7 lead after the first quarter, but Groves fought their way back to trail the Wildcats 28-23 at halftime

Junior Mark Hazelwood led the Wildcats with 17 points, while senior Chris Calvin had nine points and 11 rebounds and seniors Ken Coffman and TJ Bearse had eight points each.

"We played more intelligent basketball...defensively we did a better job of making them outside shooters and taking away driving lanes," head coach Paul Marfia said.

Even with the win, Marfia still found areas where improvement was needed, mainly at the free-throw line.

Against Groves, Oxford shot 15-30 at the free-throw line.

"Obviously there are certain areas that we need to improve and get better, but it was nice to see the kids take a step forward and that is what we are going to focus on, getting better every game," Marfia said.

The Wildcats began OAA play with a 50-48 loss to Lahser on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

A highly competitive first half saw Lahser close on a 6-0 run to take a 29-25 lead heading into halftime.

Oxford was able to cut the lead to one, 35-34, at the end of the third quarter, but found themselves down by five with a minute left in the game.

They were able to cut it back to one, but "couldn't quite get over the hump," according to Marfia.

"I thought our kids battled pretty hard and played real tough, but we missed some free-throws down the stretch and they made them when they had to," Marfia said.

Hazelwood led the Wildcats with 20 points, and senior Tyler Rose had nine points, hitting three of his five three pointers he attempted.

Calvin contributed nine points and seven rebounds for Oxford.

"I was proud of the kids and how resilient they were," Marfia said.

Up next for Oxford is a big early season game for the Wildcats when first place Rochester invades the home of the Wildcats on Thursday, Jan. 13.

Rochester is 2-0 in OAA blue, while Oxford is 1-1. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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