Oxford 56, Unatego 42
OTEGO – Coming off a disheartening divisional playoff loss to Harpursville two days earlier, Oxford jumped out to an early lead against Unatego, and won its final regular season game on Thursday.
Haley Witchella scored 16 points for the Blackhawks (15-4), eight coming in the first quarter when the Blackhawks jumped out to a 17-11 lead. Oxford’s defense held Unatego scoreless the first five minutes of the second quarter, and extended that lead to 27-14 at halftime.
“I was a little concerned about this being a ‘trap game’ coming off Tuesday’s game,” said Oxford coach Chris Palmer. “I felt we needed to come out and play with effort on our end, and I felt we did that.”
Unatego whittled that 13-point deficit to four early in the third quarter hitting a trio of three-pointers and getting seven in the third from freshman Casey Manzanero. Manzanero had 18 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in the defeat.
“We got caught in a zone in the third period, and Unatego shot us right out of that,” Palmer said.
Unatego (10-8) also had six assists from freshman Sarah Mannina. “I was pleased that my kids played hard, and we executed the game plan,” said Unatego coach Greg Bonczkowski. “Oxford is a just a good team and Witchella is a difficult matchup for us.”
Alyshia Crawford had 10 points for Oxford, who also received eight points from reserve Julie Heggie and seven from backup forward Kayla Golden.
The Blackhawks open the Class C sectional tournament on Wednesday against Walton.
Oxford: Alyshia Crawford, 4 0-0-10; Allie Nelson, 2 0-0-4; Ginny Burdick, 3 0-0-6; Kelli Whitehill, 0; Jackie Heggie, 3 2-4-8; Julie Heggie, 2 0-0-4; Kayla Golden, 3 1-2-7; Kim Shackelton, 0 1-2-1; Haley Witchella, 6 3-4-16. Totals: 23 7-12-56.
Unatego: Stephanie Havens, 2 0-0-5, Kajee Quick, 0, Kayla Wong, 0 2-2-2; Shelby Puffer, 1 2-5-5, Amanda Peloso, 2 0-0-4, Sarah Mannina, 1 1-2-3, Casey Manzanero, 7 2-4-18, Katrina Clark, 1 2-4-4, Kaitlyn Woods, 0 1-2-1. Totals: 14 10-19-42.
Oxfd 17 10 13 16–56..