Oxford Academy’s season comes to an end in CIF semifinal

The Oxford Academy girls basketball team was defeated by Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo, 39-24, in thesemifinals of the Division 5AA CIF Southern Section playoffs on Saturday night at the Oxford gymnasium.The defeat ends Oxford amazing season and snapped the Patriots’ 19-game winning streak. Oxford’s ends the season with an overall record of 24-4.Coming into the game versus Mission Prep, all the odds looked to be in Oxford’s favor. The Lady Patriots were playing at home in front of a packed gymnasium and seeded No. 2 in the playoffs, while Mission Prep was seeded sixth and had travel problems getting to Oxford.The Lancers made the 200-mile journey from San Luis Obispo and it took them more than five hours to reach the Oxford campus due to freeway closures and traffic. However, Mission Prep is an experienced team who started three seniors and two juniors and didn’t seem to be deterred by the obstacles. Oxford struggled in the first quarter, as key starters got into early foul trouble.Fortunately for the Lady Patriots, the reserves stepped up and played tough defense to keep Oxford in the game as Mission Prep went into halftime leading 18-9. But Mission Prep took control in the third, outscoring the Patriots 15-7 in the third, to take a 31-15 lead into the fourth quarter.Oxford closed the lead to 11 points with five minutes to play, but could get no closer and the Lancers earn a 39-24 victory and a berth in the CIF-SS finals. The Lady Patriots had an amazing season and accomplished a number of milestones for the program, including the first tournament championship by winning the Liberty Christian Winter Classic, the first Academy League title with a 12-0 record, and the schools furthest run in CIF, making it to the semifinals.Also, the team had significant accolades in Orange County as they had the longest winning streak in the county at 19 games and where ranked for the first time at No. 16. Assistant coach Chris Masuno summed it up while addressing the team after the game, “This team put Oxford Academy girls basketball on the map.” Reflecting back on the season, Oxford head coach David Clifton said, “I’m proud of what the girls achieved and how this team brought the Oxford community together and packed the gymnasium on Saturday night.”Now it’s time to enjoy three weeks of rest and begin on working at getting better to do even more in 2016-2017. Even with all the success this year, next season could be better as all but one current roster member will be returning next season.

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