Unionville beats Oxford, 62-31, behind balanced scoring, strong defense01/10/2023 10:34AM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
In the often herky-jerky, down-and-back rhythm of high school basketball, it is rare to see a team purposely slow itself down and operate in the controlled patterns that discipline creates. On these rare occasions, it is like watching a group of players elevate themselves from teenagers to a level of maturity made possible by preparation, repetition and purpose.
When it works, it looks like chess being played in a game of checkers – a John Wooden-like clinic -- and on Jan. 5, the Unionville varsity boys’ basketball team put on yet another of what has already become a season of clinics.
Led by a swarming defense and a balanced scoring attack, the Longhorns breezed past winless Oxford, 62-31, to remain undefeated in early Ches-Mont play and extend their overall record to 9-1.
Following an early three-pointer by Charlie Kammeier, the Longhorns stymied Oxford’s offense with a man-to-man defense that led to several stolen passes, while working a perimeter offense that jockeyed between working the paint to finding the open man in the corner. Kammeier’s second three-pointer with 4:26 left was quickly followed by three-pointers by Robbie Logan that jumped Unionville out to a 14-5 lead. While Oxford’s Matt Boyle canned a three-pointer of his own to cut into the Longhorn lead with three minutes left, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide of momentum, as Unionville began the second quarter with a 21-12 lead.
Perhaps the best indicator of Unionville’s defensive effort in the game – one that held Oxford to just five points in the second quarter -- occurred with a little more than five minutes left in the second quarter, when JT Anderson snuffed out a drive by Boyle in the lane, stole the ball and drove the floor for a layup that gave the Longhorns a 31-15 lead, en route to a 39-17 halftime lead.
Using mostly his reserves throughout the second half, head coach Chris Cowles continued to see evidence of his team’s tough defense, one that held Oxford to just four points in the third quarter.
“We have things that we are going to do on offense every game, and things that were going to do on defense every game, and follow principles that guide our actions,” he said. “We have respect, effort, preparation, unselfish discipline and commitment, and when we’re playing, we emphasize playing with maximum effort and maximum unselfishness, and we try to prepare the best way we can.
“We start with these foundations, and we teach technique and show evidence that it works on film, and then we reinforce that throughout the season.”
Unionville was led by Kammeier with 15 points and James Brenner with 11 points, while Boyle led all Hornet scorers with 14 points, including 8 points in the fourth quarter. Oxford will look to lock its first wins of the season when it hosts Rustin on Jan. 10 and travels to Great Valley on Jan. 12.
Despite his team’s early 3-0 start in divisional play – one that will continues with games against Kennett on Jan. 10 and Sun Valley on Jan. 12 -- Cowles said that there is more work ahead for his team.
“We still need to become more dynamic offensively and defensively in terms of what we can execute and with certain lineups on the court and having people know exactly where they’re going when the play is called,” he said. “Repping that out within games and practices is something we need to get to in order to get to the highest level possible.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].