Stuck in a half court game throughout the first half, Devon Prep was able to keep pace with the Oxford boy's basketball team. But a strong second half allowed the Hornets to blow the game open, leaving the gym with a 51-29 victory.
It wasn't exactly a scoring bonanza for either team early on, as the Tide was able to keep the Hornets mired in a half court offense, and the Hornets trailed after one, 10-9.
"They (Devon Prep) came out in the defense we expected, so we were prepared for it," said Oxford coach Sean Harvey. "We moved the ball along the perimeter well, but we weren't really making our breaks like we needed to."
The second period was even more of a snoozefest, with the two teams combining for a mere eight points, roughly one score every two minutes. But, the Hornets knocked in six of those eight points, and took a 16-12 lead at the break.
A different Hornets team took the court in the second half, playing a full court press, and with it, a more up-tempo offense. With the defense now coming up with steals and forcing turnovers, the Hornets were using defense to create offensive opportunities, and the results were clear on the scoreboard. Oxford went on a 13-2 run to start the quarter, and outscored Devon 24-10 overall in the third, giving the Hornets a commanding 40-22 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
"I was a little nervous going into the press," said Harvey regarding the change in tactics. "Devon Prep has handled our press well in the past, so I was a little worried about it. But we wanted to speed up the tempo a bit, so we decided to try it for a couple possessions, and it worked for us."
Oxford didn't let up on the Tide until midway through the fourth with the game in hand, and went on to win by a final score of 51-29. The win improves the Hornets to 11-2 overall, and a perfect 5-0 in the SCCL.
Julius Gray scored 14 on the night to lead the Hornets, and also had five steals in the game. Johnny McMillan was next in scoring with 11, and also pulled down nine boards for the team lead. Tommy Lacy and Darren El had nine and eight points respectively.
"Tommy Lacy has been working extremely hard, and he's showing some great post moves inside," said Harvey. "He's improving every day thanks to the work he's putting in a daily basis."
Up next for the Hornets are a couple of home games, as the Hornets host Garnet Valley on Thursday, Jan. 12, and then the Indians of Unionville visit on Saturday, Jan. 14. Unionville is the only other remaining unbeaten team in the SCCL.