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Looking Sharp in Calhoun County

Looking sharp

Calhoun County, AL – Tuesday girls: Oxford looks sharp in win over White Plains; Pope pops five 3s for Piedmont

TUESDAY’S GIRLS GAMES
Gadsden City 66, Sand Rock 37
Gaston 42, Gaylesville 25
Glencoe 48, Section 35
Oxford 60, White Plains 10
Piedmont 48, Ragland 24
Westbrook 55, Faith Christian 19

By Al Muskewitz

When a team plays the kind of meat-grinder schedule Oxford’s girls do this season, games like Tuesday night offer a welcome respite.

Of course, they’re also somewhat dangerous if the players don’t stay focused or don’t take them seriously.

The Lady Jackets didn’t have that problem, beating White Plains 60-10. They seemed locked in right from the start, creating turnovers, blocking shots, hitting 3s and rebounding, which coach Melissa Bennett wanted to see most of all.

“I feel like we play basically what the people in the South would call an SEC West (football) type schedule,” Bennett said. “On games like this, these are the games, honestly, that scare me the most because just a little bit of lack of focus, playing at their place, they play really well here, they shoot really well here, so these games actually make me a lot of times more nervous than the other games.”

This one was close for most of the first quarter, but once the Lady Jackets (3-1) started pulling away there was no looking back.

A 3-pointer by White Plains’ Cooper Martin made it 8-6, then Xai Whitfield and Keziah Mickler busted 3s and Oxford scored the next 27 points and 52 of the last 56 in the game. The Lady Jackets created 23 turnovers over the final three quarters.

“I thought our defensive pressure was much better than it has been and our defensive confidence was better,” Bennett said. “Even last year when we were struggling, we didn’t change defenses, we just changed the intensity of the defense. I felt like for the first time this season that defense is more of what we’re looking for.”

James Gaston led that charge with five steals. Shay Montgomery had two blocks. Whitfield led the balanced offense with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Gaston, Mickler and LaMya McGrue had nine points apiece.

OXFORD (3-1) – Xai Whitfield 5 2-2 15, Justice Woods 1 3-4 5, Keziah Mickler 4 0-0 9, LaMya McGrue 4 1-2 9, Jamea Gaston 3 0-0 9, Ava Thomas 2 0-0 5, Bri Wilson 0 0-2 0, Shaniya Calloway 0 2-2 2, Kaylen Kenney 1 0-0 2, Shay Montgomery 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 8-12 60.
WHITE PLAINS (0-1) – Cooper Martin 1 0-0 3, Isabella Higgins 3 0-2 6, Hallie Williams 0 1-2 1, Braeton Moran 0 0-1 0, Cassidy Arnold 0 0-0 0, Kylee Provencio 0 0-0 0, Abbie Dickeson 0 0-0 0, Chloee Cromer 0 0-0 0. Totals 4 1-5 10.

Oxford 14 23 17 6 –  60
White Plains 6 2 2 0 – 10

3-point goals: Oxford 8 (Whitfield 3, Mickler, Gaston 3, Thomas); White Plains 1 (Martin). Total fouls: Oxford 11, White Plains 8. Officials: Railey, Batey, Howell.

PIEDMONT 48, RAGLAND 24: Ava Pope hit five 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs to their second straight win. The Lady Bulldogs outscored their hosts 21-0 in the first quarter to get it started.

Pope hit three of her 3s in the first quarter and was 5-of-10 from behind the arc for the game. Lele Ridley added 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Cayla Brothers, the hero of Monday night’s win over Jacksonville, had eight points, seven rebounds and three steals.

PIEDMONT (2-0) – Armoni Perry 0 0-0 0, Ava Pope 7 3-4 22, Josie Young 1 0-2 2, Rylie Anne Holbrooks 1 0-0 2, Jaycee Glover 0 0-0 0, Lele Ridley 6 0-4 12, Cayla Brothers 3 2-9 8, Melanie Studdard 0 0-0 0, Jenna Duke 0 0-0 0, Carson Young 0 0-0 0, Gracie Naugher 1 0-0 2, Morgan Studdard 0 0-0 0, Hannah Kate Barber 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 5-19 48.
RAGLAND (0-1) – Heather Bird 1 0-0 3, Addison 1 0-0 2, Campbell Adams 2 4-8 8, Alexander 1 0-0 2, Nya Brewster 1 1-4 3, Anna Burnham 2 1-2 6, Rains 0 0-0 0, Turner 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 6-14 24.

Piedmont 21 9 10  8 – 48
Ragland 0 11 8 5 –  24

3-point goals: Piedmont 5 (Pope 5); Ragland 2 (Bird, Burnham). Fouled out: Adams. Total fouls: Piedmont 16, Ragland 18. Officials: Hollingsworth, Dexter, Lackey.

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