The Yellow Jackets didn't falter as they jumped out to a big lead against Glencoe and scored a 60-37 win in their Glencoe Holiday Shootout opener.
“We were able to put pressure on them, and anytime we can get points on turnovers it really helps us,” Oxford coach Tonya Peoples said.
The consistent was a nice change for the Yellow Jackets, which Peoples said have played inconsistent this year. On Friday, Oxford held a 25-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, but slow starts has been one of the biggest problems.
“If we start slow we can’t just be satisfied with taking jump shots, we’ve got to take the ball to the hole,” Peoples said. “But tonight, we hit some outside shots, and that built confidence. We just rolled with it from there.”
A majority of the outside points came from Casmine Copeland, who finished with a team-high 19 points, and Lexie Higgins, who scored 12. Deanna Clark had 10 points, and Winter Taylor added eight.
Glencoe matched Oxford for points in the second quarter, but Yellow Jackets didn’t take their foot off the gas until the fourth quarter when it led 51-26.
Peoples said Oxford has faced teams recently it could compete with, including Class 4A No. 1 Oneonta, which Oxford beat. But the Yellow Jackets have struggled with larger teams.
“We got beat pretty bad by Gadsden. If you gave us money for hitting a shot we wouldn’t have been able to,” Peoples said. “We competed with Clay-Chalkville, but in the end they made a run. We went up to Homewood and made too many turnovers.
“But right now we’re taking care of the ball, which makes a difference for us, and we’re scoring off of defense.”
Oxford (6-5) will face the Pleasant Valley today at 5:30 in the second day of the tournament.
Alexandria boys 76, Pleasant Valley 43: Alexandria erupted after a tight first quarter to down Pleasant Valley with ease in the two teams’ Glencoe Holiday Shootout opener.
Both teams had trouble making shots in the first quarter, with Alexandria leading 11-7 heading into the second. However, before the game ended, every Valley Cub scored at least three points.
“We got that Christmas crud out of us. We just kept getting after it, and some shots starting falling down low for us,” Alexandria coach Jason Johnson said. “We’ve got to give Pleasant Valley credit. They got after us.”
The Valley Cubs (6-3) scored 33 points in the second quarter and 29 points in the third quarter to take control. Alexandria’s defense also held Pleasant Valley (1-11) from making a comeback, with the Valley Cubs taking a 73-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
Gabe Marchal led Alexandria with a game-high 17 points. Pleasant Valley got 15 points from Trey Phillips and 11 from Lucas Ford.
Alexandria will face Glencoe at 5 p.m. in the second day of the tournament. Pleasant Valley squares off with Glencoe.
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star.