ROCKWOOD — You would have never guessed from the final score of Tuesday’s District 3-A semifinal game that Oneida and Rockwood needed overtime to decide things.
The Lady Indians defeated the Tigers 3-0 in the extra session, after the game was scoreless at the end of regulation.
Rockwood managed to keep the banged-up, short-handed Oneida team out of the goal for 80 minutes of regulation before the Lady Indians’ offense came alive in the 20 minutes of extra play. Sophomore Kenlee Duncan scored, followed by fellow sophomore Aliyah Douglas and freshman Rory Blevins.
“We struggled to find lanes to score in regulation because they were content to lay six back with a man on our forwards and a support player for each,” Oneida coach Phil Newport said. “It took us a bit to crack that but the kids listened well in the OT and started hammering better shots. We scored all three against the goalie of the year winner so we knew they had to be great shots.”
That the game was even in Rockwood was a bit of a stunner. The Tigers defeated the Lady Indians just eight days earlier in an upset. That game, which Rockwood won, was also decided in overtime, creating a 3-way tie in the district standings that lifted the Tigers from fourth to second, allowing them to host the semifinal game.
On Tuesday, it appeared that the same scenario might be playing out again, before the shots began to find the back of the next in the extra session.
“I felt we had continued to dominate play but just suffered a ton of double-team pressure up front,” Newport said.
Duncan scored on an assist from fellow sophomore Alexea Jones just two minutes into the overtime period, giving Oneida a lead it would not relinquish. Douglas scored off a rebound in the second overtime, while Blevins scored off an assist by Kamryn Kennedy.
“We’re tired but our kids pushed through a lot of stuff,” Newport said. “The officials were a bit harsh.
“We’re still getting the hang of things,” he added. “I believe the kids found another gear in the overtime. It’s crazy how effective we became when we started attacking off dribble penetration.”
With the win, Oneida advances to face Cumberland Gap in Thursday’s District 3-A championship game. That game will be played at Cumberland Gap, where the Lady Indians lost 6-2 in the regular season.