Wright led the Yellow Jackets past White Plains 64-50 in the first round of the Calhoun County Tournament, scoring 35 points and adding eight rebounds.
Wright said his teammates were the main reason he had so much success offensively.
"We had two shooters in the corner, which made them have to respect, so I could drive the ball,” he said. “Once they knew I’d drive, it helped me get open to hit a bunch of shots.”
The win helped Oxford (5-17) out of a recent slump, which five losses in the past six games, including a loss to Class 2A Westbrook Christian on Thursday. Wright said that defeat had a lot of guys down entering Saturday’s contest.
“It was important for our team to see that we could play with just about anybody,” Wright said. “Plus, we’re always excited to play in the county tournament.”
Wright led the Yellow Jackets to an 8-0 run in the first quarter and an 11-0 run than spanned the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second.
In the final period, White Plains rallied and cut the deficit to single digits multiple times.
Oxford was able to hold off the threat, largely thanks to Wright. With the score 56-47, the senior hit 7 of 8 free throws to put the game back to double digits and ultimately ice it.
“I think it was huge for our kids that are young and aren’t used to winning a lot of games,” Oxford coach Joel Van Meter said. “We’ve been in situations where we’ve done this exact thing, but we let it get away from us.”
Van Meter added that the win gives the team confidence as it heads into Wednesday's quarterfinal matchup against top-seeded Weaver at 5:30 p.m. This will be a rematch of last year’s championship game, which Oxford won 74-40. Unlike last year, however, the Bearcats are favored and have an experienced lineup, including guard Chris English, who Wright said is “a very good basketball player who can get the job done.”
“I’ve seen them play a couple of times, against White Plains and Sacred Heart,” Van Meter said. “They’re extremely talented, and Chris English is as good of a player as there is. They press you from the time you walk in the gym and it’ll be a tough game.”
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star.