No. 2 Oxbridge girls knock off No. 1 Boca Raton

Jan 24, 2018
Oxbridge’s Alexa Zaph grabs a rebound in front of Boca Raton’s Grace Alfieri (15) and Antonia Alexe during the ThunderWolves’ victory over the Bobcats. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

There’s been another shuffle at the top of the Palm Beach County girls basketball hierarchy.

Four days after beating then-No. 1 Palm Beach Lakes, top-ranked Boca Raton (15-6) fell to No. 2 Oxbridge Academy (20-4) 57-35 in a non-district showdown Wednesday night.

“That’s been one of our big goals all season — we want to beat Boca,” Oxbridge coach Tracy Wolfe said. “They beat this group, my current group of juniors, two years in a row. So it’s been really important for us to beat Boca.

“It’s a friendly rivalry, but they’re also consistently the No. 1 team in the county, and we want to take that away from them. And I think we did tonight.”

Oxbridge jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead, but Boca kept it close for the next two quarters. The Bobcats, led by sophomore Antonia Alexe’s 12 points, narrowed the ThunderWolves’ lead to three late in the second quarter. In the third, they got within one point after a 3-pointer from Alexe and a basket by junior Audrey Ramsey. But Boca never got closer.

Boca Raton’s shooters went cold in the third quarter and couldn’t heat back up. After Alexe hit her final shot from the field late in the third, Oxbridge went on a 21-4 run to end the game.

“They know that that’s their time to shine,” Wolfe said. “We take a little bit of pride in the fourth quarter, especially after what happened to us in the state semis last year. We practice for the fourth quarter.”

Junior Alexa Zaph, a Florida Atlantic commit, paced Oxbridge in points, scoring 17. Fifteen of her points came on 3-pointers. That was a theme for the whole team, as the ThunderWolves hit 12 shots from behind the arc.

“I just had to take my time and follow through (on) my shot,” Zaph said. “My teammates were getting me open, they were getting me good passes, so I just had to capitalize on it.”

Oxbridge junior forward Kaylon Smith added 13 points, and she did most of it while matched up against another one of the county’s top forwards in Boca Raton senior and Columbia signee Hannah Pratt.

“We were excited for that matchup,” Wolfe said. “I think that Kaylon’s often a little bit underrated, and she’s a phenomenal basketball player. Defensively, there’s no one better than her.”

No. 3 Palm Beach Lakes 78, Atlantic 39: Rishara Simmons’ 22 points led the Rams (16-3) to the rout of the Eagles in Delray Beach. Tamaya Patterson scored 14 points for Atlantic.

No. 7 Wellington 70, Palm Beach Central 46: Camryn Debose scored 23 points and Mia Jones added 10 points and six rebounds as the Wolverines (16-4) handled the Broncos in Wellington.

Suncoast 55, Dwyer 37: Jamia Moore had a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds and Britney Brown added 13 points with 11 rebounds as the Chargers (10-9) rolled past the Panthers in Palm Beach Gardens.

Boynton Beach 50, Forest Hill 32: Maia LaGrotta had 18 points and four rebounds for the Falcons (3-18) in a loss to the Tigers in Boynton Beach.

Seminole Ridge 60, Spanish River 23: The Hawks (12-9) rolled past the Sharks in Loxahatchee with Aneeshea Cason’s 23 points, Jahnae Midget’s 18 points, and Lynzie Smikle’s seven points leading the way. Cyanne Smith scored eight points for the Sharks.