Oneida’s District 3-A showdown with Wartburg at OHS Gymnasium on Tuesday, December 17, was expected to be a nip-and-tuck game between the two teams picked to finish atop the district.
Instead, the Lady Indians controlled the game from start to finish, defeating the Bulldogs 64-40.
It was a ho-hum night for an Oneida team that has dominated its district competition thus far. The Lady Indians shot 43 percent from the field and were only 29 percent from 3-point range, while going 8 of 11 from the free throw line.
But Wartburg did not have an answer for Oneida’s defense. While the Bulldogs had only 15 turnovers, they struggled to find open looks against the Lady Indians, finishing 33 percent from the field and 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
Oneida also saw Wartburg present a tough defensive challenge, but appeared content to move the ball and await the open shot for much of the night.
The Lady Indians jumped to a 17-8 lead in the opening period, with Jayden Thomas continuing her hot hand. Thomas, who had four 3-pointers in the Lady Indians’ win over Oliver Springs four days earlier, hit three treys in the first quarter, en route to a 14-point effort. Kendyl West added six more points in the opening period, and would go on to finish with 16.
Wartburg managed to cut into the lead briefly in the second quarter only to see Oneida go on another run to open a 13-point advantage late in the period.
The third quarter was when Oneida really took control. Freshman Kelsey Pike knocked down 6 of 6 free throws in the third period en route to a game-high 18 points, while West scored seven points and the Lady Indians went on a 16-8 run to push the lead to 49-30 as the final period began.
Wartburg was unable to mount a comeback attempt, as Oneida kept the scoring going in the final period, with six different players scoring.
With the win, the Lady Indians remain unbeaten in District 3-A play and have not been seriously challenged. Oliver Springs was the closest battle that the Lady Indians have had; that game was tied at halftime. However, Oneida would go on to build a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Bobcats, and has beaten each of its four opponents in district play by double-digits.
ONEIDA (64): Pike 18, West 16, Thomas 14, Stiltner 6, Newport 4, Boyatt 2, Manis 2, Wisner 2.
WARTBURG (40): Johnson 10, Williams 7, Redmon 6, Holley 5, Davis 5, Gouge 3, Keathley 2, Armes 2.