OXFORD • Oxford is no offensive juggernaut just yet, but it seems headed in the right direction.
The Lady Chargers got off to a fast start and held on tight, knocking off Calhoun City, 57-51, on Tuesday night.
Points were hard to come by for Oxford (2-0) last season, when it averaged 45.1 per game.
“That’s been our nemesis for the last couple of years,” coach Cliff Ormon said. “We need to execute offensively as far as making those shots when we get the opportunity.”
Calhoun City (1-1), the Daily Journal’s No. 8-ranked team, was playing without double-double machine Quay Bailey, who has a knee injury. She was a big part of last year’s team, which went 30-2 and made a run to the Class 2A state semifinals.
Still, the Lady Wildcats out-rebounded Oxford, 43-27, and shot three times as many free throws – but they made just 20 of 42.
“You miss 22 free throws, it’s going to be hard to beat anybody,” Calhoun City coach Robert Fox said.
Oxford, a 6A school, was also missing a key player, senior point guard Saniah Campbell. The team’s top returning scorer has an ankle injury.
Senior guard Claire Wootten led Oxford with 15 points, while Addison Howell had 10.
Oxford shot 41.4 percent from the field, seven points higher than last season’s average.
“We know we lost some shooters from the past years, so we knew over the years we would have to develop our shot,” Wootten said.
Wootten sparked the Lady Chargers’ hot start, sinking a pair of 3-pointers to help build a 12-0 lead. Calhoun City stormed back to lead 37-33 at halftime.
(B) Oxford 89, Calhoun City 79: Tykel Owens scored 41 points and Kylan Blackmon had 34 for No. 5 Oxford (2-0). Jalen Mays scored 31 for the Wildcats (1-1).
Turning Point: Calhoun City led 42-41 after three quarters but turned it over on four straight possessions, which led to a 7-0 Oxford run.
Point Makers: Conley Langford led Calhoun City with 15 points, while Damaya Campbell had 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Talking Point: “Claire Wootten stepped up huge tonight. She’s worked for these opportunities, and it’s great to see that.” – Ormon.