Oxford Prep’s boys basketball team used break-neck speed and quickness to break open a halftime tie and run away to a 74-58 win over Granville Central Friday night in Tar-Roanoke 1A Conference action.
The victory keeps the Griffins (12-1, 2-0) undefeated in the conference and winners of 11 straight.
In the girls game, the Panthers (3-9, 1-0) had little trouble with Oxford Prep (0-8), cruising to a 66-19 win for their second straight victory after losing seven straight.
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The boys game was tit-for-tat for most of the first half, with neither team leading by more than four points.
The Panthers used their height to crash the boards to keep up with Oxford. Only one player, Oxford Prep guard Austin West, had double points (13) at halftime.
But in the third, it was all Griffins, who raced out with the first 10 points and never looked back.
“We told them (at halftime) that it was a whole new ballgame,” said Oxford coach Lisa Lyons, who was subbing for her husband, Otis, for the second straight game. “We told them to do their job, play hard and bring it home.”
West (19 points) led four players in double figures, but it was Demari Oliver’s eight third-quarter points and just as many steals that took the air out of Granville’s sails. The Griffins outscored the Panthers 25-13 in the period for a 55-43 lead.
“We had a bad third quarter,” Central coach Mike McDaniel said. “That was the difference.”
Granville Central could get no closer than 10 points in the fourth. Junior guard Drue Williams scored a team-high 10 points.
Granville Central hosts Cedar Ridge Tuesday at 6 p.m., while Oxford Prep will hold a Christmas tournament Dec. 26-27.
Granville Central forward Taylor Freeman scored 18 of her 28 points in the first half. Granville Central also outrebounded Oxford Prep 46-22.
“They ran the floor well and played good transition basketball,” coach Ray Noel said.
With Freeman’s 10 points leading the way, Central pulled out to a 15-2 first-quarter lead. The Panthers’ size and quickness were too much for Oxford, which trailed 31-5 at halftime.
Teammate Brianna Tilley kept the Panthers offense in rhythm with 10 points in the third (14 in the game) to keep them ahead 52-16.
Noel said he hopes Central’s tough nonconference schedule will pay off.
“We didn’t play any 1A schools the entire time,” he said. “But we have a tough conference, too.”
Zenia Hart scored 12 of Oxford Prep’s 19 points. The Griffins are off until a Jan. 3 matchup at Louisburg High.