By Ted Apodaca
Heading into the third week of league play, the Academy League girls basketball race was looking like a two-team battle for the championship. Oxford Academy made it fairly clear that it was their title to lose, as they took down Sage Hill, 68-36, in the first meeting between the two teams on Jan 16.
The game was tied 9-9 early in the first quarter, but the Patriots took control from there. Oxford Academy used defensive pressure to create offensive opportunities and they pulled away for a 28-16 lead by halftime.
“Our defense, we turned it on and got a lot of points off of steals,” junior forward Austyn Masuno said.
Masuno led the Patriots with 28 points and senior Sophia Chan added 14. Freshman point guard Angie Choi added 11 points and four assists. Brianna Rodriguez had five assists, five points, seven reounds and a team-high six steals. Chan and Choi each had five steals and Masuno added four steals.
The Patriots are set up to defend their league title, but are looking to make another deep run in the playoffs. After two consecutive trips to the semifinals, Oxford is looking to add a CIF-SS title.
“I think we’ve made pretty good progress, especially in comparison to last year, this year we’ve played tougher teams … so it helps us to know what to expect going into CIF,” Chan said.
The Patriots have since improved to 20-1 and 7-0 in league play. They were the top-ranked team in the CIF-SS Division 3A polls the past two weeks.