E.A. Sports Today

A look ahead

6A subregional: Oxford loss to Albertville ends season, but not before Jackets get a glimpse of a promising future

By East Alabama Sports Today

ALBERTVILLE — Oxford’s basketball season ended Tuesday night in a 52-45 Class 6A subregional loss to Albertville, but not before the Yellow Jackets got a big look at their future.

Coach Joel VanMeter brought up two players from the once-beaten junior varsity — 6-foot-5 eighth grader Zondrick Garrett and 6-4 sophomore guard Markise Davis — and neither disappointed.

Garrett got a brief introduction — 15 seconds worth — to life with the varsity in Friday’s area championship game, but he got thrown into the deep end Tuesday.

He was inserted midway through the first quarter against the Aggies’ senior front line that goes 6-7, 6-7, 6-6, and he responded by scoring nine points, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking five shots. Twice he went over that gauntlet to deposit lobs into the goal.

Davis, meanwhile, scored 12 points — all on 3-pointers.

At one point, they had an eighth-grader, a freshman, two sophomores and a junior on the floor.

“I felt good about the way our younger guys played … but we have to learn how to win,” Van Meter said.

Indeed. The Yellow Jackets led 22-15 at halftime only to lose in the game. They had held halftime leads in each game of their season-ending three-game losing streak.

“We did not make enough plays in the third quarter when we had to; that’s what did us in,” VanMeter said.

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