OHS boys basketball is in full swing, and the team has remained undefeated with six wins to start out their season.
According to head coach Drew Tyler, he had a few concerns about this year’s team before the season began such as only having two juniors in the program.
“We are anchored by six seniors, and a lot of student athletes that are in ninth and tenth grade,” Tyler said. “We are a fairly young team, kind of still searching for an identity, knowing what we lost to graduation last year.”
For senior and shooting guard Tucker Scott, the start of this season has shown the bond this team has.
“We work really well together as a team, and it definitely helps that we have played together a lot in the past few years and to have good chemistry,” Scott said.
According to sophomore J.J. Pegues, he was challenged mentally and physically when he made the transition from football to basketball season in November.
“Changing my mindset from football to basketball wasn’t easy at all,” Pegues said. “I had to get over not being in the playoffs and [getting] over my ankle injury, but once I had played my first [basketball] game versus Calhoun city, I felt like it’s time to forget about the past and dwell on the future.”
According to Scott, the teams that Oxford has played, despite being small schools, are “competitive basketball schools.” One of these being Ashland High School who Oxford played Nov. 28.
“We knew Ashland—small 1A school but really good—has been to the state championship the last three years, won the last two years,” Tyler said. “Ashland’s team is a lot like our last year’s team. They have been together since probably grade school.”
Oxford battled a 12 point deficit in the fourth quarter but came back in double overtime to beat Ashland 78-70.
“It was intense and good for our team to go through that,” Tyler said. “It was kind of like winning three games in one game. Some of my players had never been in that situation before, so to be able to get in that situation, come back, get a lead, make big plays, answer their big plays, and to get a win was awesome.”
During this game, Scott served as a catalyst for the team, scoring 17 points that game.
“I got in the zone and realized that we really all had to contribute if we were going to win this game,” Scott said. “I mean, we were down 12 points in the fourth quarter, and it got my blood flowing, and all of us had to step up and do something big, and that’s what we did.”
Pegues, also a high scoring player during the game against Ashland, made 26 points during the game.
“I scored that, but without my teammates none of this would have happened,” Pegues said. “I feel great, but I know that there is more than that to come in the future.”
As for the rest of the season, Scott wants to continue to win and improve skills with his team as district games approach.
“I definitely know that as the season progresses, we are going to face lack of height. We are definitely not the tallest team, but we areable to get rebounds,” Scott said. “Besides that, we all got to work on shooting. If we can do those things, we are set.”