Phoenix News · Ty Locklear and Trajen Chambers help Oberlin beat Columbia, avenge opening loss

Todd Shapiro
The Chronicle-Telegram

COLUMBIA STATION — Ty Locklear and Trajen Chambers set out to make sure Oberlin wouldn’t lose again.

They succeeded.

Locklear had a game-high 27 points and Chambers scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half as the Phoenix avenged their opening-night loss with an 84-80 win over Columbia in the back end of a Lorain County League two-game series. Columbia won the first game 99-70.

Locklear, a 6-foot junior guard, picked apart the Raiders defense for 20 points in first three quarters then put the game away late at the free throw line.

“We knew on Tuesday they played better than us so tonight we came out and executed and played Oberlin basketball and got the win,” Locklear said. “We had to make a big adjustment. Tuesday they kicked our butt so tonight we had to play with a chip on our shoulder and come back and return the favor.”

After a first quarter in which the teams traded baskets, Oberlin used a 16-5 second-quarter run to pull away. Chambers scored 11 of the points to help guide the Phoenix to 55-39 halftime lead.

“We knew we were supposed to do this in our first game so we had to come out tonight and take care of business,” Chambers said. “We wanted it more tonight. I got on my teammates in practice the past few days and said, ‘This is a must-win game.’”

Although the Raiders (1-1) fell behind by as many as 19 points in the third quarter their potent offense came to life with a 13-2 run to end the period and cut the Phoenix lead to 65-57.

Junior forward Cody Davis led Columbia with 20 points while seniors Cale Borling and Brandon Fisher each added 18.

Through two games this season the Raiders are averaging nearly 90 points.

“Oberlin played loose tonight and we came out tight. I don’t know, almost like we were afraid to lose or something,” Columbia coach Larry Babics said when asked the biggest difference between Tuesday’s win and Friday’s loss.

“We were too passive on offense tonight,” Babics said. “You can’t do that against Oberlin. That’s a really good team.”

Columbia came back to tie the game at 71 on a Fisher 3-pointer with 4:19 to play in the game, but Oberlin responded by scoring nine of the next 13 points to keep the Raiders from gaining the lead.

The Phoenix turned to 6-4 sophomore center Isaac Thompson late in the game and he was able to find seams in the Columbia defense and get to the basket for easy scores.

Thompson scored eight of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.

“We were a little disappointed in ourselves after Tuesday,” Oberlin coach Kurt Russell said. “My assistant coaches (Jordan Beard, Phil Payne and Howard Chambers) said we should drop back into a zone because they were beating us on the fast break. So we decided to change up our strategy a little bit.

“Ty and Trajen showed some character with how they stepped up tonight. But I also thought that Marius (Harrell), Mikah (Jones-Smith) and Isaac (Thompson) all were outstanding in their role. It was a team win.”

Because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic the LCL is having teams play a home-and-away series the same week to cut down on any potential virus spread between competing school communities.

According to Russell there are advantages and disadvantages to playing the same team twice within 72 hours.

“It’s difficult when you see the same team back-to-back,” Russell said. “The other side of that is we got a pretty good scouting report from that first game and I think we used that to our advantage today.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or

Oberlin 84, Columbia 80

OBERLIN (84): Andre Yarber 3-2-8, Marius Harrell 3-0-6, Isaac Thompson 7-1-15, Mikah Jones-Smith 1-0-2, Trajen Chambers 8-4-24, Ty Locklear 9-8-27, Darreon Barnes 1-0-2. Totals 32-15-84.

COLUMBIA (80): Caleb Borling 6-5-18, George Wilson 2-0-6, Trevor Hottell 3-3-10, Brandon Fisher 7-2-18, Owen Menge 0-1-1, Reece Miller 3-0-7, Cody Davis 8-1-20. Totals 29-12-80.

Oberlin   24 31 10 19 — 84

Columbia   21 18 18 23 — 80

Three-point goals: Oberlin (Chambers 4, Locklear), Columbia (Davis 3, Fisher 2, Wilson 2, Hottell, Miller). Field goals: Oberlin 32-69 (46 percent), Columbia 29-70 (41 percent). Free throws: Oberlin 15-23 (65 percent), Columbia 12-21 (57 percent). Rebounds: Oberlin 43, Columbia 39. Turnovers: Oberlin 15, Columbia 14. Total fouls: Oberlin 12, Columbia 22. Fouled out: Davis

Junior varsity: Oberlin, 61-50.