The home-standing Oneida Indians seized control of District 3-A on Tuesday (Jan. 12) night on The Reservation, pulling away from the Blue Devils of Harriman by the final score of 61-49. The victory moved Oneida’s record to 9-1 overall, 7-0 in district play with a huge matchup looming on the horizon Friday night vs Sunbright. The loss drops Harriman to 9-7 overall, 7-1 in district play.
In what could be a preview of the district and region championship games (Sunbright could provide a scare as well), the teams traded punches for nearly three periods of play before Kolby Morgan hit a buzzer-beating triple to end the third (the rim gods were kind). That started a 12-0 run that continued over the first five minutes of the fourth as the Indians built a 55-40 lead (up from 43-40) with 3:10 left to play before settling for the 61-49 win.
On the night, Morgan was solid throughout in leading the Indians with 26 points (including 12 points in the pivotal third period and three triples). It was also nice to have his partner in crime Nathan Bowling back after missing a month due to a high ankle sprain. Bowling would also provide a spark as he finished the game with 16 points (including four triples). Oneida’s remaining 19 points came via the following quartet of players: Jeric Huling with a quiet eight points, Noah Buttram scored five points, Mason Keeton finished the night with four points, and Jacob Perry got in the books with a deuce. Harriman’s leading scorer was Stubbs with 20 points.
The first period of play was a back and forth affair as the teams traded the lead on multiple occasions before Oneida settled for a 20-18 lead. It was Bowling coming off the bench to provide the spark and lead the way with eight points (including a pair of triples). Morgan also played well in the first to the tune of seven points (3-pointer included). Oneida’s remaining five points came via a Keeton bucket and Buttram 3-pointer from the wing.
Round two of the match saw both teams ramp up their defensive efforts as the game remained close. Harriman outscored Oneida 12-10 in the round to knot the score up at 30 heading into the break. The trio of Morgan, Bowling, and Huling did all of the scoring for the Indians in the frame as Morgan scored five points, Bowling buried a triple, and Huling got the rack for a lay up.
Morgan’s play in the third propelled the Indians to a 46-40 lead. Oneida led throughout the frame but by never more than five points until Morgan got a friendly bounce on a buzzer beating triple to cap the third period off. In the period, Morgan would play string music to the tune of 12 points (12 of Oneida’s 16 points). The Indians remaining four points came via a Huling pull up from 15ft and a Bowling take to the rack — lefty style.
Oneida rode the big mo from the Morgan 3-ball into the fourth, scoring the frame’s first nine points over 4:50 to build an insurmountable 55-40 lead at the 3:10 mark, cruising to the 61-49 victory. The fourth was a complete team effort on both ends as six players scored and everyone turned the wick up defensively. Oneida’s 15 points in the frame were as follows: Huling hit two buckets to finish with four points, Bowling buried a triple, Buttram, Perry, and Morgan each hit a bucket, and Keeton scored the game’s final two points with a pair from the stripe.
ONEIDA (61): Keeton 4, Perry 2, Huling 8, Morgan 26, Buttram 5, and Bowling 16.
HARRIMAN (49) Adkisson 2, Stubbs 20, Douglas 3, Oliver 2, Ray 1, Pelfrey 12, & McCullum 9.