Madisyn Oxley can see the end of her basketball career. She’d love to make a few more big shots before she goes.
The Lakota West High School guard hasn’t had a great senior season individually, but she’s a four-year player still contributing for one of the best girls basketball teams in Ohio.
On Saturday night, Oxley will be at Fairmont’s Trent Arena when the Firebirds meet Mason for a Division I regional championship.
“It’s pretty sad that it’s almost over. It went by so quick,” she said. “You always hear people say it goes by faster than you think, and then you’re a senior and it really does. I’m excited for this last run to see where we can go.”
Oxley is averaging 5.1 points, three rebounds and 1.3 assists per game for 25-2 West.
Known for her ability to change a game with her scoring, she’s shooting just 34.6 percent from the field, 24.4 percent from 3-point range and 50 percent from the foul line.
A summer injury didn’t help. She suffered cartilage damage in her left (shooting) wrist and had to have surgery.
“I landed on it wrong,” Oxley said. “I went through AAU until the end of July and decided that I needed to get it checked out. I knew I had to work really hard to get back to where I was before the injury and get even better, so I practiced more and more and hoped for the best.”
She won’t use the injury as an excuse, but admitted the wrist has been a lingering issue.
“It’s affected me a little bit. It’s still a little sore,” Oxley said. “I just try not to think about it when I’m shooting, and even if it doesn’t go in, I try to think of the next shot. I’ve been practicing a lot more hoping when we’re in this final state run that the shooting ability I’ve had for a while will come back and it’ll be natural.”
Firebirds coach Andy Fishman preaches that scoring isn’t the No. 1 thing in his program. Defense and general tenacity are what get you on the floor at West, and he sees the big picture with Oxley.
“As time has gone on, she’s been able to find other ways outside of shooting the 3 to really contribute to the success of this season,” Fishman said. “She’s one of our best offensive rebounders. Game in and game out, she makes big plays for us. She’s a smart kid and a competitor.”
Oxley has been part of a history-making run for the Firebirds. This is the fourth straight regional appearance for Oxley and fellow seniors Abby Prohaska and Sarah Jones.
That first year was special. West capped off a 28-2 campaign with a 44-38 victory over Toledo Notre Dame Academy in the 2015 state championship game.
“I remember everything,” Oxley said. “I’m really excited about the possibility of having that chance again. It’s my last year, and I don’t want to lose anymore. As a senior, I’ve got to bring the energy for my team and be a leader.”
She’s not planning to play basketball at the next level. An excellent student, Oxley wants to become an anesthesiologist and is looking at Ohio University or Indiana.
Saturday will mark her last time as a participant in the West-Mason rivalry. The two teams split during the regular season, and Oxley said the Firebirds didn’t reach their full potential in either game, so that’s the goal in Round 3.
“I’m ready to go,” she said. “My season hasn’t gone exactly the way I wanted it to, but I’m not going to focus on how my individual season went when we’re making a run in the tournament. I’d like to have two more games next week. That’s what I’m working for.”
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