Jan 07, 2019
(By Scott M. Burnstein For Digital First Media)
Oxford's well-balanced attack kept its well-oiled machine of a boys basketball team churning and burning on the road Friday night, as the Wildcats clobbered host Farmington Hills Harrison 79-48 to stay undefeated.
Four Wildcats reached double-figures in the scoring column, led by rugged senior center Mike Raisch's 17 points and 10 rebounds and blossoming junior forward Trey Townsend's 12 points and 10 boards. Raisch and Townsend make up one of the best frontcourts in the area.
Oxford went on top 38-29 at halftime and then pulled away midway through the third quarter with an 11-0 run that sank Harrison's spirits and signaled the rout was on for the visiting Wildcats (7-0). Raisch's transition bucket kicked off the spurt and his fast break hoop off a no-look feed from senior point guard Logan Coughlin ended it, putting Oxford in front 49-34 with 3:43 left in the frame.
Coughlin contributed an excellent overall floor game, finishing with 10 points, 8 assists and 4 steals. DuJoun Williams, Coughlin's backcourt mate, had 13 points. The Wildcats took a commanding 60-39 lead into the fourth quarter and never let up.
"We showed how much we wanted it in the second half," Raisch said. "We got them down, had them fighting for air in the third quarter and we stepped on their throats and closed it out liked we were supposed to. We weren't going to let them linger, because you never know what can happen if you let a team hang around on you. The door had to be shut and we slammed it."
Head coach Steve Laidlaw and his Oxford club are aiming for a league title out of the OAA Blue. Friday's victory balloons the Wildcats league mark to 3-0.
"Defense is our calling card, it's been there for us the whole year and we showed why in the second half tonight," Laidlaw said. "We were sharing the ball on offense, locking down on defense and really executing. That's winning basketball."
In all seven games so far this season, Laidlaw's Wildcats have held their opponents under 50 points.
"I didn't like that we gave up 29 points in the first half, that wasn't acceptable and we got it fixed," he said. "This team is committed to playing hard-nosed basketball and that all starts on the defensive end of the court."
Harrison (3-4) got a game-high 24 points from London Young. Hawks' guard Trenton Ramsey registered 12 points in the loss.
This winter will serve as the final chapter of Harrison Hawks basketball. The school is scheduled to shutter come June, with players from the program dispersing to either Farmington or North Farmington next year. The Hawks program tipped off in the 1970-1971 campaign.
(Photo Cred. - TZR Sports)