by Steev Riccardo
OXFORD – The Oxford Pirates lost to a couple of tough Southern Worcester County League opponents last week, falling to Tantasqua on Wednesday, January 9, 80-79 on a 3-pointer in the final seconds and to Uxbridge on Friday, January 11, 70-60.
The loss versus Tantasqua was hard one to swallow as the Pirates entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead and actually led by three points with only five seconds left.
“The fourth quarter was a great quarter of high school basketball,” said Pirates coach Sean Halloran. “We were up by three with fifteen seconds left and there was only one way we could have lost this game. We committed a silly foul; they made their first free throw and missed the second and then made a random 3-pointer.”
“We had our opportunities and we can blame ourselves for the silly foul and some missed free throws. It was a very frustrating loss. This is a hard stretch for us.”
Mike James, who barely missed a floater that would have won the game at the buzzer, played well in the loss to the Warriors, scoring 14 points and dishing out 12 assists. Liam Pickett led all Pirates scorers with 26 points.
The Pirates had to deal with the Warriors Central Mass all-star guard Corey Gatta, who scored 33 points. “He’s a college player, we tried to “D” him up but he was really hot tonight,” said Halloran.
70-60 at Uxbridge
The Pirates fell to the Uxbridge Spartans on Friday, January 11, 70-60 despite 19 points from Pickett and 10 points from Gianni Christo.
Halloran made no bones about where his team stood after the Uxbridge loss. “We're at a crossroads now. We didn't play like we wanted to win against Uxbridge. This team has a lot of potential to do some very, very good things in the postseason. However, if we play with no heart, there's no guarantee we'll get there. It's do or die beginning Monday at Quaboag in my mind.”
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- Wednesday, 16 January 2013