Source: Sherman Publications

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Hoopsters take out Rochester Adams

by Andrew Moser

January 11, 2012

When one asks when the turnaround for Oxford varsity boys basketball began, one could point to the Wildcats 49-41 victory over Rochester Adams on Jan. 6.

"I have to say it is probably one of the biggest wins and probably the best I've seen us play since I've been here," Marfia said.

"It was against a quality opponent and we played good basketball," Marfia added. "I thought for maybe a couple possessions we didn't make some good decisions out there, but overall probably played 30 minutes of good basketball, which is a vast improvement from where we have been."

In a rematch of last season's opening round of district play, which saw Adams win 52-49 in overtime, the teams played another hard fought game.

"It was a great mid-season test for us," Marfia said. "Adams is a great team. They were the defending district champs and they went all the way to the regional finals, and they pretty much had everyone coming back for them."

Adams built a 7-2 lead during the opening minutes of the game, but the Wildcats battled back, eventually taking a 17-13 lead into the second quarter.

From there, it was game on as both teams traded basket after basket, with Adams taking a one point lead, 27-26, into halftime.

The game remained tight throughout the third quarter as both teams continued to trade baskets, neither side being able to build a lead bigger than three.

By the end of the third, the Wildcats held a slim lead, 38-37.

Following a sluggish beginning to the final quarter, senior Mark Hazelwood sparked a mini 6-0 run to push Oxford's lead to 44-39.

The Wildcats then salted away the final five minutes of game, making clutch free-throws and putting the game out of reach.

Hazelwood finished with 15 points, while fellow senior Michael Kitchner had a game high 20 points for the Wildcats.

Senior Jacques Toussaint added seven assists, while seniors Javente Evans and Zack Raisch each had six rebounds for Oxford.

Marfia said the key to the game was "team defense."

"We really played as a team. I felt we made it very difficult for them to get good shots. They seem to all be pretty much contested, which is a real nice job," he said. "I thought we rotated well, closed out on our gaps and had better position than what we have had up to this point."

Marfia gave credit to junior Mike Censullo, senior Jacques Toussaint and freshman Glacier Wallington for their great defense on Adam's all-conference point guard Akhemji Williams.

According to Marfia, Williams was held to a season low 11 points.

"Offensively we shared the ball well, we didn't waste our dribble; it was good to see the evolution to see how we are evolving and getting better," Marfia said.

With the win, Oxford improved to 3-3 on the season. Oxford takes on rival Brandon at home Jan. 13 before traveling to Royal Oak on Tuesday, Jan. 17.