HARRIMAN — Oneida was to have played for a district championship Wednesday for the first time in seven years, after defeating Sunbright at Roane State Community College on Monday, 77-68.
The Indians jumped to a 14-point first half lead, only to see the sixth-seeded Tigers, who had already upset No. 3 Oakdale, charge back to cut the lead to three points late in the half. The Indians pushed the lead back to double figures in the second half, only to see Sunbright again mount a charge, cutting it to as close as five points late in the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, though, Oneida was able to hit enough free throws to prevail. The Indians were 21 of 29 from the line, 72 percent. After a 14 of 14 start from the stripe, Sunbright finished 18 of 24, for 75 percent.
Fouls had a big impact on Monday’s game. Oneida post player Dalton Yancey fouled out in the fourth quarter, with 17 points and seven rebounds, which helped aid Sunbright’s late run. With Yancey on the bench, the Indians had no one who could stop the Tigers’ Wesley Bohanan. He finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Also, Kolby Morgan’s minutes were limited by fouls. He had three of them in the first half and also sat considerable time in the second half.
Nathan Bowling had 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Indians. Chance Botts finished with 12 points.
The Indians were to have faced top-seeded Harriman at Roane State on Wednesday. With the win, Oneida will also host a region quarterfinal game at OHS Gymnasium on Saturday. That game will tipoff at 7 p.m., with the Indians hosting either Copper Basin or Lookout Valley, depending upon the outcome of Wednesday’s championship game.
ONEIDA (77): Bowling 27, Yancey 17, Botts 12, Morgan 8, Perry 6, Carson 3, Clark 3, West 1.
SUNBRIGHT (68): Bohanan 26, Langley 15, Bunch 10, Freytag 9, Freels 4, Friel 2, Nitzchke 2.