Gadsden City fades late against Oxford

December 18, 2018 chris
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Photo: Gadsden City’s Dee Pearson (right) looks to drive past Oxford’s William Warren during the Titans’ 65-56 loss in boys basketball last Monday (Dec. 17) at GCHS. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Gadsden City led for much of the game against Oxford last Monday (Dec. 17) but ultimately suffered a 65-56 loss at GCHS.
Ahead 49-46 heading into the fourth quarter, the Titans managed only three field goals over the final eight minutes. The Yellow Jackets scored the first 10 points of the quarter before Demetrious Huff’s lay-up stopped the bleeding. That basket drew GCHS within 56-51 with a little over four minutes remaining, but the hosts never regained the lead.
Cameron William’s three-point basket a few minutes later cut the deficit to 57-54, but on the next possession William Warren was fouled as he made a lay-up, and his resulting free throw provided the visitors with a six-point cushion with 2:33 left.
The Yellow Jackets went to motion offense following Warren’s traditional three-point play, and Gadsden City managed only Calvin Williams’ basket in the game’s final minute when the game was out of reach.
Huff acknowledged that poor decision-making, particularly in the second half, was a major factor in the Titans’ loss.
“It came down to not being disciplined in running our offense. We weren’t aggressive enough in attacking the basket, and we got onto the position where we had to take desperation 3’s, and you don’t want to do that against a team as good as Oxford. We have to do a better job of executing, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Demetrious Huff paced the Titans with 17 points, followed by Dee Pearson with 16 and Williams with 12.
Sparked by six points from Demetrious Huff in the post, Gadsden City ended the first quarter on a 10-2 run for a 16-9 lead.
Pearson’s three-pointer at the 5:12 mark stretch the Titan advantage to 13 points, but Oxford put together a 12-2 stretch and eventually drew within 30-28 by halftime.
The Yellow Jackets remained within striking distance through the third quarter, tying the game three times but failing to take the lead. Gadsden City’s biggest lead of the period was six points before the visitors narrowed the gap to three heading into the fourth quarter.
Eugene Leonard scored 13 points for Oxford, while Rok Taylor added 14 and Zondrick Garrett 10.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but I think we’re growing up as a team,” said Reginald Huff. “Hopefully we’ll grow from losses like this one and get better when the area games start.”