Balanced scoring and strong defense lead Unionville to a victory over Oxford
● By Steven Hoffman
Oxford guard Christina Fernandez launched a long shot with 2:23 left in the Jan. 8 game against Unionville. The ball was in the basket and was dropping through the net, it seemed, but then it spun out and fell to the floor.
It was that kind of game for the Hornets. Fernandez, the game’s leading scorer with 15 points, had an excellent game. Her fourth quarter shot illustrated that the ball just didn’t bounce Oxford’s way on this night.
Unionville, meanwhile, played a strong game offensively and defensively. Nine different Indians players scored on offense and the hustling defense forced the Hornets to turn the ball over 18 times. Unionville’s balanced scoring attack, some tenacious defensive play, and a few bad bounces for Oxford—it all added up to a 50-36 win for the visiting team.
The Indians started the game on an 8-2 run, with sophomore guard Emma Dempsey scoring two of the baskets.
Anna Hampshire helped the Hornets cut into Unionville’s early lead, putting in a lay-up to complete a fast break, and then following that up with another basket. Later in the first quarter, Hampshire knocked down a three-pointer.
Unionville took a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter when Alexia Brown scored a basket after an offensive rebound.
Oxford tied the score at 16-16 early in the second quarter when Hampshire hit a free throw. The significance of the moment was that it would turn out to be the last time that Unionville didn’t lead the game. On Unionville’s next trip up the floor, guard Casey Baughan managed to draw a foul and connected on two free throws to put the Indians back in front. They would push the lead to five points by the end of the second quarter, and never looked back.
In the third quarter, the Indians’ hustling defense paid dividends as they outscored Oxford, 12-6. The Hornets’ efforts were hindered when Hampshire suffered an injury to her left arm. She would return to the game after a few minutes, but Unionville went on a strong run, pushing the lead to ten points. Meghan Megill was in the middle of a lot of action for Unionville. She worked hard on defense, and several of her plays led to scores for the team. Unionville freshman Anya Budow scored a basket and drew a foul in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Her free throw gave the Indians a 36-25 lead to close out the third quarter. The points by Budow started a 13-0 run that would put the game out of reach during the fourth quarter.
That didn't mean that the Hornets were about to give up. Oxford freshman Julianne Guerin made a nice cut to the basket for the score that ended Unionville’s streak of 13 points in a row. Fernandez then knocked down a three-pointer for the Hornets. Oxford’s defense then forced Unionville into a turnover, prompting Indians’ coach Fred Ellzy to call a timeout.
Coming off that timeout, the Indians pushed the lead to 20 points, but to the Hornets’ credit, they continued to play hard, scoring the final three baskets of the game, making the final score 50-36.
In addition to the 15 points by Fernandez, Hampshire scored 10 points for Oxford, Jaime Herrin added 5 points, Guerin scored 4 points, and Andreilav Guzman chipped in 2 points.
Dempsey led Unionville with 12 points, while Megill added 9 points for the team. Baughan chipped in 8 points, and Anna Iaccocca contributed 7 points. Five points by Lindsey Robbins, 4 points by Budow, 2 points by Erin Towler and 1 point by Lily Dietrich rounded out the scoring by the Indians.
With the victory, Unionville improved its record to 6-5 on the season, while Oxford’s record is 5-4.