Figueroa propels Pioneers past Pirates
By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
SOUTHBRIDGE — A back-and-forth game that appeared to be going decidedly Oxford’s way turned into a last minute comeback win for the Pioneers in a 62-60 win over the Pirates on Monday night.
With 59.5 seconds remaining in the game, Oxford appeared to be in control with a five-point lead in Southbridge, 58-53, but the Pioneers continued to press the Pirates. Oxford had the ball and was clinging to a one-point advantage when it called a time out with just 28 seconds on the clock. Southbridge’s defense soon came up with the ball and Jared Figueroa was able to give the Pioneers a 61-60 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the game. After Oxford’s Jared Perkins came up short on a late shot, Southbridge’s Adrian Perez came away with the ball, dishing it out to Figueroa, who was able to extend the Pioneers lead via the free throw line, 62-60, and then came away with a steal at half court in the final two seconds of the game, securing the home victory.
Figueroa led all scorers with 36 points in the game, including 19 of his team’s 21 points in the fourth quarter. Eury Mateo added nine points for Southbridge, while teammate Justin Reyes chipped in with seven points. Perkins paced the Oxford offense with 23 points, all but two of which came in the second half, including 13 points in the fourth quarter. Klaytin Silva added 12 points for the Pirates while Macaddai Owusu scored 10 points.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with Oxford going on a 9-3 run at the end of the first quarter. Down 16-9, the Pioneers rallied in the second quarter with nine unanswered points en route to a 15-2 run and an eventual 24-22 lead at half time. The rest of the game was fairly tight, though Oxford began to build a lead late in the fourth quarter before Southbridge fought back to pick up the win.
Southbridge is now 8-7 on the season, while Oxford fell to 6-8 with the loss. The Pioneers will host the struggling Quaboag Cougars (3-11) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., while the Pirates will look to snap a three-game skid in Webster against the 6-8 Bartlett Indians on Wednesday evening.