E.A. Sports Today

Oxford bounces back

Film session, not game-day practice, sparks Yellow Jackets to win

By East Alabama Sports Today

VESTAVIA HILLS – Joel Van Meter weighed a lot of options to get things fixed in the 18 hours that followed a bad opening-round loss. In the end, the Oxford basketball coach found the answers in the whir of a video machine.

Van Meter chose an enlightening film session over an intensive practice and it paid off as the Yellow Jackets bounced back to beat Gardendale 47-42 Wednesday in the Sneaky Pete’s Rebel Classic.

“You can’t play any worse than that,” Van Meter said, referring to his team’s 52-25 loss to Homewood. “I wanted to practice today, to prove a point to them, but my assistants showed me another way.

“We sat down and watched the first half of that game. We weren’t playing hard. We weren’t playing with emotion. They were attentive to it and that helped us today. You don’t have to go off on them. We were able to show them and they were able to respond.”

The Yellow Jackets (3-4) held Gardendale to single digits each of the first two quarters and opened a 10-point halftime lead. When the Rockets cut into that lead late in the game the Jackets executed plays to stay out in front.

Querrian Mason, who led the Jackets with 13 points and seven rebounds, scored seven points in the fourth quarter. Point guard Kaleb Kidd, who scored 11, hit a big 3-pointer, had two key steals in the final two minutes and made three free throws down the stretch.

The Jackets return to the tournament 6 p.m. Friday against Albertville, a team they lost to on the road earlier this year without Kidd in the lineup.

GARDENDALE (42) – Marcus Coley 6 2-6 17, Harper Haygood 0 0-0 0, Jay Brooks 3 2-4 8, Zac Ratliff 1 0-0 2, Jacob Hallmark 0 1-3 1, Sam Reburn 0 3-6 3, Brady Sellers 0 0-0 0, Tucker Vines 3 5-6 11, Malil Jackson 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 13-25 42.

OXFORD (47) — Kaleb Kidd 3 3-8 11, Jalen Moore 1 0-0 3, Querrian Mason 5 3-9 13, Jakolbe McClendon 2 0-0 4, Jacob Baker 0 0-0 0, Torry Robertson 0 0-0 0, Donte Lauderdale 2 1-2 5, Chris Jarmon 0 0-0 0, Solomon Shadrix 0 0-0 0, Blaize Brimer 3 0-0 7, Zack Lackey 1 2-5 4. Totals 17 9-24 47.

Gardendale 5 7 14 16 — 42
Oxford 12 10 9 16 — 47

3-point goals: Gardendale 3 (Coley), Oxford 4 (Kidd 2, Moore, Brimer). Total fouls: Gardendale 19, Oxford 23. Fouled out: Lackey.



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