After two days of sharp play at the South Fork Physical Therapy Christmas Classic, Oneida ran into a buzzsaw named Barboursville Monday evening.
The Tigers’ aggressive half-court defense, which forces teams to play blue-collar basketball, caused the Indians fits throughout Monday’s third place game, and the Kentucky team pulled away for a 58-50 win in a game that wasn’t quite as close as the final score indicated.
The Indians were able to keep things close throughout the first half, despite being out-rebounded by a wide margin and offense being hard to come by. In fact, Barbourville led by just three, 36-33, going into the fourth quarter.
But the final period was a disastrous one for Oneida, as Barbourville built a double-digit lead en route to the win.
The Indians were out-rebounded 38-13, and did not have a made free throw until Nathan Bowling — who scored a game-high 24 points — was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three in the fourth quarter. Oneida finished 3 of 8 from the line, a sharp contrast from Barbourville’s 21 of 25.
In fact, Barbourville won by a relatively comfortable eight-point margin despite having three fewer made field goals than Oneida. The Indians out-scored the Tigers from the field by a 47-37 margin, yet lost by eight.
Nevertheless, the tournament was a successful one for the Indians, who had their eight-game winning streak snapped by Scott High on Saturday, but played well enough to beat the undefeated Highlanders (see related story, page B1) and looked impressive in a 31-point win over First Baptist Academy on Friday.
ONEIDA (50): Bowling 24, West 7, Huling 7, Yancey 6, Morgan 4, Perry 2.
BARBOURVILLE (58): Vaughn 18, Grey 11, Moore 8, Smith 8, Collins 6, Collet 5, Bingham 2.
Oneida 81, First Baptist Academy 50
The scoreboard said 81-50 when the final horn sounded. In reality, Oneida’s game against First Baptist Academy on Friday wasn’t that close.
On a night when the Indians almost couldn’t miss from the field, they jumped to a 35-point first half lead, expanded that to 40 early in the third quarter, then called off the dogs.
It was a remarkable turn-around for the two teams; First Baptist Academy defeated Oneida at summer camp, and only fell to the Indians by 11 at the Twin K Hall of Fame Classic in November.
But Kolby Morgan didn’t play in either of those earlier games, and he was the difference-maker in Friday’s game. After the Indians fell behind 6-0 early, Morgan scored nine straight, and Oneida didn’t trail again. The junior wound up with 19 first quarter points, and had 28 by halftime. He finished with 30 — his second straight game at home with 30-plus points; he scored 38 in an overtime win against Wartburg.
Oneida shot 75 percent from the field in the first half, then hit its first six shots of the third quarter. The Indians were shooting 79 percent for the game when coach Jacob King went deep into his bench early in the third quarter.
For the game, Oneida shot 73 percent, including 60 percent from 3-point range. Nine different players scored, with Nathan Bowling finishing with 14 points in addition to Morgan’s 30.
Friday’s game marked the return of Dalton Yancey from a wrist injury. He scored eight points in limited minutes.
ONEIDA (81): Morgan 30, Bowling 14, Yancey 8, Huling 8, Chamberlain 7, West 4, Jo. Perry 4, Spradlin 4, Hutchison 2.
FBA (50): Roberts 18, Whitaker 11, Harris 11, Neal 7, Miles 3.