OAKDALE — Logan Stephens hit a layup with four seconds remaining to lift Oneida to a 64-63 road win here Tuesday, Jan. 30, that will go down as the Indians’ biggest win since a run to the substate in 2012.
It had been a close game throughout, with Oneida trailing by just two at halftime and leading for much of the second half. The fourth quarter featured a thrilling seesaw battle between the two teams, who traded the lead on several occasions in the final two minutes.
But it was Oneida that got the last opportunity, with senior guard Dawson Branstetter finding his fellow senior, Stephens, on the low block for an uncontested layup as time ticked away.
Oneida was able to limit Oakdale’s Jackson Hicks, arguably the best player in District 3-A, to 10 points, including just four in the second half.
Zac Kazee, meanwhile, had a big game for the Indians, with 20 points. Chance Botts had 11 and Stephens added 10.
Botts was five of six from the free throw line in the second half, and Oneida was nine of 13 from the line as a whole in the second half, after shooting just four of eight in the first half.
Oakdale finished 16 of 25 from the line.
The loss was Oakdale’s second in as many outings, after the Eagles had gone two years without a loss in district play. Harriman had defeated the Eagles three days earlier, but Oakdale still sat atop the district standings as Oneida arrived for Tuesday’s game.
Oneida is currently involved in a three-way battle with Coalfield and Wartburg for the No. 3 seed in the district as the regular season winds down.
ONEIDA (64): Kazee 20, Botts 11, Stephens 10, D. West 7, Bowling 7, Yancey 4, Branstetter 3, E. West 2.
OAKDALE (63): Smith 18, Nelson 11, Hicks 10, Poole 7, Arrowood 5, Bingham 4, Best 2, Barber 2, Miller 1.
Oneida 73, Sunbright 61: It was a struggle early, but Oneida ultimately staved off Sunbright’s upset bid with a 73-61 win over the Tigers on Thursday.
Zac Kazee started strong and finished strong for the Indians, with 23 points that included 12 in the first half and 11 in the second half.
Chance Botts added 15, while Dawson Branstetter and Dalton Yancey each had 14.
Yancey had 10 of his 14 in the second half, while Botts scored nine of his 15 after the break, as the Indians turned an early deficit into the double-digit win.
Oneida shot free throws extremely well to help itself to the win, finishing 12 of 14 from the free throw line. Sunbright was just seven of 18 from the line.
Hunter Bunch scored 18 second half points for Sunbright, but his teammates could not get going.
ONEIDA (73): Kazee 23, Botts 15, Branstetter 14, Yancey 14, Stephens 4, E. West 2, D. West 1.
SUNBRIGHT (61): Bunch 23, Brown 12, Bohanan 8, Langley 7, Cooper 5, Daneil 3, Trent 1.
Coalfield 67, Oneida 64: Coalfield only outscored Oneida in one quarter of Saturday’s District 3-A matchup in southern Morgan County. But it was a big quarter.
The Yellow Jackets used a 24-12 run in the third quarter to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit and propel themselves to a 67-64 win over the Indians in an important game from a district standings perspective.
With both Oneida and Coalfield battling for the three-seed heading into the district tournament that will begin next week, the Yellow Jackets gained a big advantage in that race, and avenged a loss from earlier in the season in Oneida.
Oneida’s Zac Kazee continued an impressive week, scoring 25 points against the Yellow Jackets. But Parker McKinney, who missed the first meeting between the two schools with an injury, was equally impressive, scoring 26 points — including a 12 of 14 performance from the free throw line.
The free throw line, in fact, turned out to be the biggest difference in the game. Oneida shot well, hitting 72 percent of their attempts to finish 16 of 22. But Coalfield simply got there more, connecting on 23 of 30 attempts for 76 percent. The Indians shot 47 percent from the field.
COALFIELD (67): Pa. McKinney 26, Keathley 13, Pe. McKinney 10, Kilby 6, Byrd 6, Carroll 5, Lowe 1.
ONEIDA (64): Kazee 25, Branstetter 9, Stephens 9, D. West 7, Botts 7, E. West 3, Burchfield 2, Yancey 2.