E.A. Sports Today

Oxford holds on

Yellow Jackets defense pushes back Homewood in the closing seconds to preserve their subregion victory; play Albertville in regional opener Friday

Oxford’s Roc Taylor (5) and Homewood’s Logan Padgett (34) are poised to battle for a rebound during their subregional game Tuesday night. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

To see a photo gallery from the game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — It was the biggest 7.8 seconds of the season for the Oxford Yellow Jackets as their season stood on the brink of disaster.

A 16-point second half lead had been chopped to one and visiting Homewood had the ball at center court with a chance to take their first lead of the night.

Markise Davis, who had been injured with 1:33 left in the game, was back on the floor and he and the Oxford defenders pushed Homewood into the back court for a few precious seconds.

It made all the difference. The Patriots never got close enough to launch a decent shot and the one they did was well off target and the Yellow Jackets survived 60-59 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Class 6A.

It’ll be a trip to the Northeast Regionals at JSU, Friday at 10:30 a.m. against Albertville (25-4).

“We had to have a stop and these guys stepped up and had one,” said a hoarse Oxford head coach Joel Van Meter. ”Homewood is a heck of a team and we knew it would come down to this; there was no doubt. Coach (Tim) Shepler is one heck of a coach. They were state champs just a few years back.”

Oxford (18-11) jumped out to a stunning 22-8 lead in the opening quarter and had stretched the lead to 41-25 at the half. The Yellow Jacket defense created 13 first-half turnovers and had the Patriots offense in a state of chaos. Fortunately for them, they nailed five 3-point baskets and one three-point play that kept the game even close.

The Yellow Jackets had dropped in seven 3-pointers themselves and it appeared that the frantic pace was going to put this game away early in the third quarter. The Patriots scored eight straight points and got the lead down to 53-46 by the end of the third quarter.

Oxford led by seven with 2:45 to go, but the Patriots nailed two 3-pointers to cut the lead to 60-59 with 39 seconds to go. Simeon Shadrix missed a free throw with 13 seconds left and all of a sudden the Patriots had a chance to win it.

But Oxford hung on.

“We were not very smart at the end of the game,” Van Meter said. “We took some early shots when maybe it was better we held it a little longer.”

Davis led Oxford with 15 points and nine rebounds. Kendrick Foster added 14 points and Braden Mack ended up with nine points.

Jack Goldasich led the Patriots with 13 points. Logan Padgett, son of Samford head basketball coach Scott Padgett, added nine points and 13 boards.

“That is always a goal to get to the Region and we did it,” said Van Meter, who credited a large and boisterous home crowd for helping the Jackets get through. “These group of guys are so together this year and we are looking forward to the regionals.”

Oxford 60, Homewood 59
Tre Roberson 6 1-1 16, Marcello Nanni 0 0-0 0, Isiah Rouse 0 0-0 0, Jack Goldasich 5 0-0 13, Will Simmons 2 1-1 7, Jack Dorough 0 0-0 0, Erik Schablow 0 0-0 0, Larkin Williams 3 3-3 9, Wesley Williams 0 0-0 0, Kenny Martin 0 0-0 0, Pate Owen 2 0-0 5, Logan Padgett 4 1-4 9, John Dill 0 0-0 0, Courtland Meeks 0 0-0 0, Wilson McCraw 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 6-9 59.

OXFORD – Markise Davis 6 0-0 15, Simeon Shadrix 2 0-1 5, Mont McClendon 2 0-0 6, Roc Taylor 4 0-0 8, Kendrick Foster 5 2-2 14, Eugene Leonard 1 1-2 3, Kobe Warren 0 0-0 0, Braden Mack 3 2-2 9, Trafton Houck 0 0-0 0, Rylen Houck 0 0-0 0, Tacorrie Russell 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 5-7 60.

Homewood 14 11 21 13 — 59
Oxford 24 17 12 7 — 60

3-point goals: Homewood 9 (Roberson 3, Goldasich 3, Simmons 2, Owen); Oxford 9 (Davis 3, Shadrix, McClendon 2, Foster 2, Mack). Fouled out: Goldasich.

Oxford’s Eugene Leonard pulls up for a jumper in a close game against Homewood. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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