The Oneida Indians got Stubb(ed) on Wednesday night in the District 3-A championship game as Harriman’s Brady Stubbs led his team back from a 10-point second period deficit to win the game, 57-52. Oneida would lead by as many as 10 points at 22-12 in the second period before the Blue Devils started to chip away, pulling to within five points at the break (29-24) and tying the game after three (37-37) before pulling away down the stretch due to defensive/rebounding lapses by the home team.
With all the chips on the table (the winner would have home court advantage throughout the region), Oneida looked good early in racing out to the 22-12 lead behind the power of Kolby Morgan and Jeric Huling. However, it wasn’t enough as Harriman’s Stubbs rallied his team by scoring a game-high 29 points, including 11 in the pivotal fourth period as the Blue Devils pulled away for victory.
Here is what the loss means: Oneida will get to host a region quarterfinal game on Saturday as Copper Basin will visit The Reservation at 5 p.m. After that in all likelihood (unless Wartburg can pull off a major upset), the Indians will hit the road to Chattanooga on Tuesday night.
It was the starting five doing most of the Indians’ damage throughout led by Morgan. Kolby would finish the night with 18 points (seven each in the second and fourth), including a pair of triples, while pulling down five boards and dishing out six assists. Huling would score 10 points (including six points in the first) while adding two rebounds and two assists. Nathan Bowling did most of his damage at the stripe in finishing with 10 points (six free throws), six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jacob Perry and Rylin Duncan would also play big roles as each player finished the night with seven points. Perry would also contribute three rebounds and a steal while Duncan pulled down two boards and swatted away a shot. Although they didn’t score, Reece Marcum and Noah Buttram would play and contribute. Marcum would help limit Jordan McCullum while pulling down a board and Buttram’s return in general from injury will be huge during the region. Buttram would dole out two assists.
The first period of play was about executing the offense and that is what the Indians did. The teamwork and ball movement was excellent as Oneida assisted on six of their seven made baskets in being able to get out to a 14-9 lead after one. On the receiving end of most of those assists was Huling as he worked the backdoor layups to perfection, scoring six points. Duncan would also work some magic against the Harriman big to score four points in the frame. The remaining two buckets came on power moves to the rack on assists by Morgan and Perry on assists from Bowling.
Oneida was able to jump out to a 22-12 lead around the midpoint of the second before a 3-point play and a banked 3-pointer got the Devils right back into the game, trailing 22-18. The teams would go on to battle to pretty much a draw the remainder of the half as Oneida would take a 29-24 lead into the break. In the frame, it was the duo of Morgan and Bowling doing a bulk of the scoring as Morgan would find his touch from deep (burying a 28-footer) on his way to scoring 7 points while Bowling found his way to the rack on two occasions, finishing the half with four points. The Indians also got drive and finishes from Huling and Perry.
The third period turned into a defensive struggle as the Indians limited the Blue Devils to only 13 points. However, Oneida could only muster up eight points as shot after shot bounced the wrong way, allowing Harriman to knot the game up at 37-37 after three. In the stanza, Oneida would get buckets from Morgan, Huling, and Duncan while Bowling knocked down a pair from the stripe.
Oneida would take their final lead of the game at 41-39 early in the fourth behind back to back buckets from Morgan. After a quick Harriman spurt, Duncan would go to the stripe with a chance to tie the game at 43-43 but split the tosses and the Indians would trail 43-42 with around five minutes to play. From there, the Devils would seize control behind the play of Stubbs, the Indians lack of boxing out at the line, and a huge missed goal tending call that could have possibly knotted the game up with an and-one to follow. Oneida would hang around, hoping to have a chance despite the aforementioned problems as they would trail 52-49 behind four Bowling charity tosses and a banked triple from Morgan with 1:30 or so remaining to play. However, the Indians would get no closer as Harriman pulled away at the stripe to take a 56-49 lead before a Perry triple from the corner pulled the Indians to within 4 points at 56-52 in the waning seconds. Harriman would go on to make another charity toss to put the final score at 57-52.
ONEIDA (52): Bowling 10, Huling 10, Morgan 18, Perry 7, and Duncan 7.
HARRIMAN 57): Adkisson 4, Stubbs 29, Oliver 9, Pelfrey 1, and McCollum 14.