Before Oneida’s District 3-A tournament game against Midway had hardly gotten started, it was over.
The Indians were firing on all cylinders against the Green Wave, racing to a 50-16 halftime lead en route to an 80-39 opening round victory that leaves them one win away from a berth in the regional quarterfinals.
Oneida raced to a 21-4 first quarter lead on the strength of a couple of 3-pointers from freshman Nate Bowling and six early points from sophomore Dalton Yancey. And then senior Zac Kazee took over.
Kazee scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second quarter, including five 3-point shots, as Oneida went on a 29-12 run to put the game out of reach. One of those 3-pointers, just before the end of the first half, marked Kazee’s 1,000th career point. He became the first Oneida player since Cole West to score 1,000 career points.
The third quarter was more of the same, as Oneida put up 21 more points. Chance Botts hit a couple of 3-point shots. Bowling hit another. Kazee scored four more points. And the Indians widened the lead to 71-29 as the fourth quarter began and the bench got lots of playing time.
The win propelled Oneida to a district quarterfinal showdown at No. 4 Coalfield. The Indians defeated the Yellow Jackets in December, but Coalfield was without Parker McKinney — arguably the district’s best player — at the time. However, in a later game in which McKinney played, Oneida lost by just three points at Coalfield.
The Indians’ elimination game against the Yellow Jackets is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday.
ONEIDA (80): Kazee 26, Botts 13, Bowling 12, Yancey 10, Stephens 8, Carson 5, Branstetter 4, Clark 2.
MIDWAY (39): Parks 14, Hoster 7, Townsend 5, Burnum 5, Schommer 4, Moore 3, Beason 1.