ONEONTA – Eighteen games into the 2009-2010 season, you might say the version of the Oxford Blackhawks on display at the MAC basketball championship game was the new and improved version.
It was déjà vu all over again for the Blackhawks Saturday at Oneonta State Fieldhouse as Oxford defended its league championship with a 55-35 victory over Walton. The Warriors beat the Blackhawks by 19 points in the regular season meeting nearly two months ago, and this weekend’s scenario not unlike last year when Oxford avenged a regular season loss to Sidney en route to a 20-point title win.
“We knew after watching tape that they would probably come in here with confidence,” said Oxford senior Cory Seiler, who shared the team-high scoring honors with freshman Andrew Golden netting 15 points. “We got off to a good start, they came back, then we played lock-down defense.”
Part of Oxford’s strategy was to contain Walton’s big man Dan Gehl and teammate Steve Kaminsky. The Walton duo combined for over 30 points in the first meeting, but neither scored in the first half in this contest, and the duo combined for just eight points. “It was huge,” Oxford Coach Tim Davis said of his team’s defense. “We were following our defensive plan perfectly. Every time the ball was in the air, we wanted to put three guys on Gehl.”