Source: Sherman Publications

Hoopsters fall to Troy Athens 76-54

by Andrew Moser

December 28, 2011

Oxford’s varsity boys basketball team headed into the Christmas break on a sour note after losing 76-54 to Troy Athens on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

The Wildcats held a brief 3-2 lead early in the first, but the size of some of the Athens’ players took over the game after that.

“Athens played very well,” Marfia said. “They had two kids (seniors Caleb McIntosh and Marcarius Coakley) that we marked on our board; we knew (they) were exceptional athletes. They (are both) 6’4, 215 pounds, handled the ball real well and created some matchup problems.”

McIntosh finished with 16 points, while Coakley had a game high 20. Athens 6’8 junior Jeff Koch was also a big presence inside for the Red Hawks, scoring 16 points.

“We really tried to focus on the other two guys, and he stepped up and hit some big baskets for them to relieve that pressure,” Marfia said. Senior Mark Hazelwood led Oxford with 16 points, while senior Mike Kitchner added 12 points and senior Zack Raisch added 10 points.

“I was really impressed with Zack Raisch; probably his best game I’ve ever seen him play (during) his two years on varsity,” Marfia said. “He had a bad ankle that he rolled the previous game, but he came back with toughness and played hard and had some good post moves inside and did a real nice job for us.”

Oxford trailed by seven after the first quarter and cut the lead to three late in the first half. However, Athens used a 6-0 run to end the half to open the lead back up.

Athens stretched their lead to 16 following the third quarter.

Marfia said the score wasn’t an indicator of the hard work and effort his boys gave.

“Our heart and effort was right there. Our kids battled all game long; they got within three points at one point late in the game, but they (Athens) just came through and made plays,” Marfia said. “The end result wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but the effort and the battling was there.”

“They easily could have folded up the tent and walked away from it, but they didn’t. They kept getting after it,” he added.

The loss dropped the Wildcats to 2-3 on the season.

Up next for Oxford is a home game against Rochester Adams on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.