Oxford 50, Groton 30
OXFORD – Oxford won its Section IV playoff opener for the third straight season eliminating Groton from Class C play Tuesday night at Oxford High School.
Senior Haley Witchella had a game-high 22 points in just half a game of playing time, and added 13 rebounds and eight steals for the Blackhawks (14-5), who play at top-seeded and defending Section IV champion Tioga on Friday.
“Tioga has ended our season the last two years, and they lost last year’s state championship game on a buzzer beater,” said Oxford coach Chris Palmer. “They are a legit Class C school.”
The Blackhawks smothered Groton (8-10) on defense forcing 21 turnovers in the first half, and barely allowed the Bulldogs past halfcourt much less a shot at the basket. Allie Nelson had two steals in the game’s first 30 seconds for Oxford to set the tone on defense. On the night, the Blackhawks induced 33 Groton turnovers – most of those over the first three quarters.
Witchella scored 10 of her team’s first 12 points as Oxford moved to a 12-0 lead with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. Witchella scored on an assist from Jackie Heggie to start the run, and before taking a seat in the opening quarter, Witchella had a steal and driving layup.
Groton’s first points of the game took nearly 5 1/2 minutes, and Oxford was even more stingy in the second quarter. The Blackhawks rattled off 18 points before a basket from Groton’s Kerri Rhodes 18 seconds before halftime ended the spurt as the Blackhawks held a 34-9 lead.
Most of the points came out of a full-court press, and the halfcourt defense for Oxford – mostly a two-three zone – wasn’t half bad. “We knew their ballhandling was weak, so we were hoping to get some turnovers out of the press and get some easy buckets,” Palmer said. “It was nice for our defense to create some easy offense.”
Groton: Ashley Keister, 0; Kerri rhodes, 4 0-1-8; Emma Graham, 1 0-0-2; Ruthanne Forehand, 3 5-5-11; Courtney Ward, 1 0-0-2; Tiffany James, 2 0-0-5; Mallorie Murray, 0 0-2-0; Kylene Hall, 0 1-2-1; Shyane Wheaton, 0; Stephanie Preston, 0; Stacey Case, 1 0-0-2. Totals: 12 6-10-30.
Oxford: Emily Smith, 1 0-0-2, Megan Golden, 0; Allie Nelson, 0 0-0-0; Ginny Burdick, 2 0-0-4, Samantha Barrows, 0 0-1-0; Jackie Heggie, 3 0-0-6, Julie Heggie, 3 1-4-7; Kayla Golden, 0 1-2-1; Lacey Barry, 1 0-0-2, Sarah Renaud, 0; Brooke Noble, 3 0-1-6, Haley Witchella, 9 3-3-22. Totals: 22 5-10-50.
Grot. 7 2 6 15–30
Oxfd. 16 18 15 1–50
Fouled out: none. Three-point goals: (O) Witchella. Officials: Coleman, Dadamio.
B-G 53, Unatego 46
BAINBRIDGE – Bainbridge-Guilford rebounded from a lopsided loss in the Midstate Athletic Conference finals last weekend beating Unatego for the third time this season Tuesday in the Class C playoffs.