E.A. Sports Today

Prep basketball

With injured Lewis, Allen sitting out, Oxford gets strong showings from Alexander, Truitt, but can’t overcome unbeaten Columbia in Davidson Classic. Southside girls win in Swafford Showcase.

Cover photo: Oxford’s Jordan Kelley goes up for a shot against Columbia (Ga.) during Saturday’s finale of the second annual Larry & Connie Davidson Classic at Oxford. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Larry & Connie Davidson Classic

At Oxford
Mattie T. Blount 84, White Plains 46
Central-Phenix City 67, Oxford 48
Dothan 58, Gadsden City 56
Huffman 46, Spain Park 45
Woodward Academy 75, Hoover 69 (girls)
Shades Valley 50, Dothan 34
Woodward Academy 55, Pinson Valley 51 (boys)
Central-Phenix City 62, Ramsay 53
Fairfield 59, Auburn 43
Mountain Brook 98, Blount 53
Columbia (Ga.) 56, Oxford 40

Bobby Swafford Showcase

At Heflin
Bremen (Ga.) 76, Donoho boys 35
Bremen (Ga.) 41, Cleburne County girls 33
Temple (Ga.) 61, White Plains girls 21
Temple (Ga.) 69, Cleburne County boys 47
Southside girls 56, Oxford 46

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — For those trying to figure Oxford’s boys’ basketball team 13 games into the season, wait.

The Yellow Jackets haven’t had their full roster active AND healthy.

With center Jayden Lewis (knee) and shooting guard T.J. Allen (back) resting, Oxford went 0-2 in the Larry & Connie Davidson Classic, falling to Central-Phenix City on Friday and undefeated Columbia (Ga.) 56-40 in Saturday’s finale.

Oxford is 6-7 headed into a week that starts with Tuesday’s Class 6A, Area 13 game against undefeated Fort Payne. Fort Payne coach Robi Coker scouted Saturday’s game, which played out on Larry Davidson Court.

He saw a sum two weeks short of Christmas, still managing without some of its parts.

“That’s a huge deal,” Oxford coach Joel Van Meter said. “You’re 13 games in, and you really haven’t had your team yet.”

The good news for Oxford? Lewis, most valuable player of the 2023 Calhoun County tournament, and Allen have prospects for returning soon.

Part of the team’s football contingent that wasn’t available for basketball until after the football team’s playoff run ended Nov. 17, Lewis has a sore knee.

“I have to let the trainers tell me, but we’re hoping that he will be full practice tomorrow,” Van Meter said. “They kind of said they thought, maybe, by Fort Payne, but we’re going to take it real slow because the type of player that he is, and the type of explosion that he uses we’ve got to make sure that he’s completely healed.”

Allen has battled both foot blisters and the back issue. He hasn’t played at full health this season and is likely out another two weeks or so, Van Meter said.

Van Meter got hopeful words regarding Allen’s status from Mountain Brook coach Tyler Davis, whose team beat Mattie T. Blount just before Oxford’s game Saturday.

“His youngest son had kind of the same thing,” Van Meter said. “He sat out seven weeks and healed, and he was much better.

“When we’re talking about having T.J. back would be six weeks, but he’s really done a real good job with his rehab and everything, so we’re hoping. I’m not really counting on anything, but we’re opening.”

With Lewis and Allen in black team sweats Saturday, Jaylen Alexander scored 15 points to lead the Yellow Jackets. They also got 12 points from Chase Truitt, a senior seeing extended time in Allen’s absence.

“I was really pleased with the way Chase Truitt came in and played,” Van Meter said. “He played with some passion, chased balls all over the floor.

“It’s best I’ve ever seen him play, but it’s also the most purpose I’ve ever seen him play with. I was pleased with that, no doubt.”

Oxford trailed 30-18 at halftime but opened the third quarter with a run to close within 35-30. Truitt hit two 3-pointers during the third quarter, and Marcus Perry, Jr. hit one.

Columbia (10-0) finished the quarter strong to lead 43-33.

“I thought we responded and played hard,” Van Meter said. “At the end of the day, you have to make plays to win the game. We had some opportunities to make plays, and we just didn’t make them.

“We’re you’re playing a team as good as they are, they’re going to make you pay when you don’t take advantage of the opportunities. That’s why you play these games.”

Swafford Showcase

SOUTHSIDE 56, OXFORD 46: In the Bobby Swafford Showcase at Heflin, Southside’s girls lead by as many as 20 points and improved to 8-2.

Madison Shaw led the Panthers with 19 points and seven steals, including four 3-pointers. Laylah Davis added 13 points, and Grace Anne Rose scored 13 points with 10 rebounds.

Oxford’s Xai Whitfield scored a game-high 24 points. The Tennessee State signee hit two 3-pointers.

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