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OXFORD — For the first five minutes of Tupelo’s Region 1-6A boys basketball matchup against Oxford on Tuesday, very little went right. The Golden Wave ran into early foul trouble and was forced to make big changes down 11 early. Those changes paid off, as Tupelo used a late surge to knock off the Chargers 68-55 at a ruckus Oxford High School gym. The win gives Tupelo a regular season sweep over Oxford en route to next week’s Region 1-6A Tournament back at home.

Gavin Shannon and London Fields did the majority of the damage for the Golden Wave, combining for a total of 40 points with Shannon holding the slight advantage. Braxton Bishop added 12 points of his own for good measure. 

“They’ve been our bread and butter the whole season. They have good teammates and they set those guys up good. They feed off each other well. There were a lot of timeouts called in this game so we had plenty of times to make adjustments and identify things we need to get done,” Green said.

The Chargers jumped out to an early 15-4 lead with three-point shooting from Miles Luber and multiple successful fast break opportunities. Due to early fouling, Oxford found itself in the bonus around the three-minute mark of the opening quarter.

“They definitely knocked us off our game plan and rhythm early. We had to make some quick adjustments, especially with the foul situation,” Green said.

Slowly but surely, Tupelo chipped away at the deficit and only trailed by one going into the locker room at halftime. Both teams proceeded to trade blows until early in the fourth quarter, where Oxford’s second half foul troubles began to rear its ugly head and allowed Shannon and Fields to put the game away and end the night on a 16-6 run.

“Those two are among the top-20 best players in the state of Mississippi,” OHS head coach Drew Tyler said. “We have to value the importance of a rebound and we didn’t tonight. Tupelo was really physical. Basketball is a physical game, and we didn’t have that on the defensive end. We can’t let anyone have second or third shot… It just snowballed on us. We’ve shown before we can play for 32 minutes. Tonight, the wheels just fell off the bus. 

Tupelo will close out regular season region play at Grenada on Friday, January 28 while the Chargers look to do the same at Starkville. Both tip-offs are set for 7:30 p.m.

Lady Wave bury Oxford in girls hoops action

Unlike the boys, the Tupelo Lady Wave had little issues putting away the Oxford Lady Chargers with a convincing defensive performance and a 45-15 win in Region 1-6A play. Tupelo’s Audria Houston put together another big performance, particularly behind the arc in her return to her former basketball program.

The Tupelo girls advance to 19-4 on the season with a No. 1 region tournament seed on the line next week at Grenada. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. The Lady Chargers will look to rebound at Starkville