The Lady Wave entered into the district 2 5-A tournament and were hoping to have good showing to start off the postseason. A four o’clock start time left a near empty gym at New Hope High School as the three-seeded West Point took on two-seeded Oxford.
The Lady Chargers are a veteran team which pulls leadership from Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen Alexus Malone. A young Lady Wave had struggled with Oxford in the previous two meetings and dropped both games.
Tuesday afternoon’s game was not different from the previous two match-ups as the Lady Wave missed fifteen lay-ups and turned the ball over multiple times in the first half to trail the Lady Chargers 41-21 by halftime. The second half was not much better for West Point as the Lady Chargers continued their dominance on the hardwood, beating the Lady Wave 79-37.
“Oxford is very good team, especially with Alexus Malone,” said West Point’s first-year head coach Kendall Pickens about the loss to Oxford, “I attribute a lot of the mistakes to being young and just not executing the way we should.”
West Point was able to hold it close during the first four minutes of play as the Lady Wave and Oxford attempted to find their rhythm to start the game. The Lady Chargers’ full court press was hard to break as West Point was forced into many turnovers during the first quarter. At the close of the first period, Oxford had built an 11-5 lead.
The second quarter was all Oxford as the Lady Chargers were able to stretch their legs and really pull away from the Lady Wave. With help from Malone, Oxford decisively began to pull away from West Point at the midway point of the second period 30-17. By halftime, the Lady Chargers were in full control and pushing the issue up 41-21.
During the second half, the Lady Wave found it hard to stay with Oxford as the Lady Chargers continued their dominant performance. At the final buzzer, Oxford had proved to be the far superior team, winning 79-37.
Even though the Lady Wave were knocked of postseason contention early, Coach Pickens believes that this season has many positives to take away from it.
“As a coach, I learned how to work with the girls, simplifying game plans and seeing what worked with them,” commented Pickens about what he is taking away from the season, “I also saw this group of girls grow a lot over the season, improving every month.”
West Point closed out the season with an overall record of 7-17. The Lady Wave won two district games both over the Saltillo Lady Tigers. The attention for Coach Pickens and his girls will now turn to the off-season where they hope to improve for next season. “Our rebuilding for next season start tomorrow,” said Pickens following the Tuesday loss to Oxford, “We want to focus on execution and becoming more of a family-type unit.”