By PETER DiGIOVANNI
EAST WHITELAND- There are many schools that think they can compete with the Great Valley boys basketball team in the Ches-Mont League American Division this season. Tuesday night at Great Valley, Oxford came in with a 3-0 record division play and had thoughts of toppling the mighty Patriots.
Well, with senior Mikal Bridges leading all scorers with 21 points and Cyree Ames adding nine more via three long 3-pointers, the host team won going away in wire-to-wire fashion, 55-35.
Great Valley shot a torrid 17-for-34 from the field and played sparkling defense as they held the Hornets to a season-low 35 points on 12-for-46 on the night."Coach (Jim) Nolan told us to come out with energy early and put them back on their heels,' Ames said. "We do not take anybody for granted and we prepare hard for every team we play. My teammates got me the ball in good situations tonight and the shots went down for me. We tried to keep the ball moving all night and we did a good job of doing that.'
Ames hit the first shot of the game, a long 3-pointer from the corner, and that was followed up by Bridges 3-ball to make it a 6-0 game early. Oxford got into foul trouble in the first half as the Patriots (3-0 Ches-Mont American, 10-0 overall) went to the foul line 15 times in the first half, while Oxford did not go to the charity stripe at all."We just could not get into any flow of the game tonight,' Oxford coach Sean Harvey said. "We did not play team basketball tonight. We tried to do things individually.
Great Valley pulled away in the second period, outscoring the Hornets (3-1, 9-3), 14-5, to take a commanding 28-16 halftime lead. Oxford went 7-for-24 in the first half, with the Great Valley defense showing plenty of energy as Ames and Ricky McQuay bothered the Hornets' outside shooters."I think our defense and rebounding tonight were outstanding and were the keys to the game,' Nolan said. "We rebounded the ball when we had to. Sean is one of the best coaches around and always does a great job with his kids. We were prepared for what they were going to do tonight, but we have a lot of room to improve.' The second half was more of the same as Great Valley outscored Oxford, 15-11 in the third. Ryan Buchholz followed his own miss to score for a 30-16 lead. Oxford missed a short jumper that was rebounded by Bridges, one of his 10 on the night. He came down the floor and calmly hit a jumper for a 32-16 advantage. Another Oxford miss resulted in another Bridges basket for a 34-16 advantage.
Great Valley held a 43-27 lead after three periods, early in the fourth, Nate Cohen scored two straight baskets from inside to pull away as the cold shooting contined for the Hornets.Cohen, Bridges and Bucholz dominated the smaller Hornets on the glass all night. When Bridges threw down a monster slam for a 20-point lead, Nolan emptied his bench as the Patriots stayed perfect on the season and handed Oxford its first division lost in four games."Cyree played very well tonight,' Nolan said. "He is making the transition from football to basketball like last year, when he really came on for us the second part of the season. Our defense has been solid all season and I thought that was the key for us tonight.'
Notes: Great Valley shot 17-for20 from the foul line. ... Oxford did not have a scorer in double figures, Ryan Hubley and Musty Mahmud had each points to lead the way.
Great Valley 55, Oxford 35
OXFORD: Hubley 2 4-5 8, Mahmud 4 0-0 8, Clarke 2 2-3 7, Logan 2 1-2 6, Mosley 0 1-1 1, Dunn 2 0-0 5, Salavadore 0 0-0 0, Herb 0 0-0 0, Sumner 0 0-0 0, Dorsey 0 0-0 0, Quigley 0 0-0 0, Sivels 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 8-11 35.
GREAT VALLEY: Bridges 6 8-8 21, Ames 3 0-0 9, Cohen 3 0-0 6, McQuay 1 3-5 5, McGlond 1 2-4 4, Buchholz 3 2-3 8, Buzan 0 2-2 2, Miller 0 0-0 0, Alston 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 17-20 55.Oxford 11 5 11 8-35
Great Valley 14 14 15 12-55
3-point goals: Ames 3, Bridges, Dunn, Clarke, Logan.