E.A. Sports Today

Jackets slow to return from layoff

Talladega rolls to 12th straight win in traditional game with Oxford

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

TALLADEGA — Each year the Oxford Yellow Jackets get together with the Talladega Tigers right after the Christmas break and right before the area tournaments begin. It gives both teams a tough contest to help get them prepare for area play and shake off any rust that may have developed during the break.

On Saturday night, Talladega rolled to its 12th straight victory with an impressive 57-38 win over the Yellow Jackets in Chuck Miller Arena.

The 12-day layoff impacted Oxford’s shooting as the Yellow Jackets (5-12) got off to a cold start and fell behind 15-2 in the opening quarter. The Tigers (16-2) played last week and did not shoot real well either, but hammered the boards and were able to fend off a couple of Yellow Jacket runs in the second half.

“This game is good for us as it helps us try and shake off some rust,” Oxford head coach Joel Van Meter said. “It helps us get ready for our first area games next week (Monday against Chelsea and Friday against Pell City).

“(The Tigers) are tall, lean and get out fast in transition, as do all the teams we seem to be playing up to this point in the season. They are very athletic and you can’t turn the ball over against them and give them extra scoring opportunities. We have to do a better job of handling pressure to beat these guys.”

Oxford’s early season schedule has been filled with numerous ranked teams in the 5A to 7A ranks in Georgia and Alabama. With only two seniors, it has been a rigorous learning experience. The Tigers appear to be a team that can compete for a 5A state title.

”We just hope it has not beaten us down and I have not seen that in the practices,” Van Meter said. “So, I think we will be ready for the area games that mean so much to our season. I think we will be ready.”

Querrian Mason led Oxford with 18 points and seven rebounds. Jakolbie McClendon had six points.

D’Angelo Scales pumped in 13 points to pace Talladega. Joshua Madden added 10. Ohyja Garrett grabbed 12 rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets will host area foe Chelsea Monday, 6A power Albertville Tuesday, area foe Pell City Friday and travel to 7A power Gadsden City Saturday. It will a busy, but telling week for this year’s Oxford team.

Talladega travels to Shelby County for a big game in its area Tuesday.

Talladega 57, Oxford 38

OXFORD (5-12) — Kaleb Kidd 2 1-2 5, Jalen Moore 1 1-1 3, Querrian Mason 8 2-4 18, Jakolbie McClendon 1 3-4 5, Daunte Lauderdale 1 0-0 2, Zachary Lackey 0 0-0 0, Torry Robertson 1 0-0 2, Blaize Brimer 0 3-4 3. Totals 14 10-15 38.

TALLADEGA (16-2) — Marius Echols 2 1-1 5, D’Angelo Scales 3 5-6 13, Calvin Allen 1 0-0 2, Jay Smoot 2 1-2 6, Desmond Green 1 0-2 2, Josh Madden 3 1-2 10, Ohyja Garrett 3 0-0 6, Antoine Garrett 1 0-0 2, Josh Wilson 2 0-2 4, Robert Houston 1 0-0 2, Khail Keith 2 1-4 5. Totals 21 9-19 57.

Oxford 4 14 6 14 — 38
Talladega 15 14 16 12 — 57

3-point goals: Talladega 6 (Scales 2, Smoot, Madden 3). Total fouls: Oxford 20, Talladega 16. Fouled out: Robertson. Technical fouls: Mason.

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