HARRIMAN — The Lady Indians’ first period Friday night was less than inspiring but what transpired over the final three periods was message sent.
It took a buzzer-beating triple by Jacey Manis to give Oneida a 17-16 lead after one, but the Lady Indians would outscore Harriman 41-13 rest of the way to cruise to the 58-29 victory.
The victory marked a perfect 16-0 regular season march through District 3-A — the first such time an Oneida team has accomplished this feat since 2015-16 and only the second time over the past 20 years. However, I hope history does not repeat itself, as the last time an Oneida team went undefeated in district and district tourney play, they lost in the first round of the regional tourney.
This group of seniors ran their district record to an impressive 46-2 over the past three seasons and 57-7 overall during their career. The victory also marks their 93rd career victory (the march to 100 was slowed by missing five games earlier this season but there is still a chance). On the year, Oneida improved to a season-high 11 games over .500 at 17-6, 16-0 in district play.
Leading the troops to victory was the senior duo of Gracie Martin and Jacey Manis. Martin was steady throughout, just missing a double-double, as she finished with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Manis carried the burden in the first as she scored 11 of her 13 points in that stanza to keep her team in the lead. Kelsey Pike came on the fourth, scoring seven of her eight points in the frame. Pike also recorded five steals. Raylie Bush scored five points. Katelyn Stiltner was responsible for four points, six hard-earned boards, two steals, and a block. Emily Wisner buried a big triple to start the third, pulled down six rebounds, dished out two assists, and recorded two steals. Oneida’s remaining nine points came via a 3-pointer from Ali Smith and buckets from Caroline Bell, Braelyn Russ, and Faith Cross.
The duo of Katelyn Stiltner and Caroline Bell left with injuries early in the fourth and did not return (Stiltner, lower back; Bell, ankle). The goal is for both to be available for the start of the District 3-A tourney on Wednesday.
Oneida got off to a quick 2-0 lead on a Stiltner putback. However, from there, the Lady Blue Devils played the part of upset-minded foe as they battled the Lady Indians point-for-point before a Manis 3-pointer at the buzzer put Oneida up for good at 17-16. In the frame, Manis would knock home three triples on her way to 11 points and Martin would finish the frame with four points.
The Lady Indians turned up the pressure defensively in the second as they limited Harriman to only seven points. However, Oneida could only muster up nine points of their own to take a 26-23 lead into the break. In the period, Bush buried a triple, Manis finished a break, and Stiltner and Martin each hit a pair of charity tosses.
Coach Marv West must have found the magic words at halftime as his Lady Indian squad came out in the third period and took care of business, as Martin led a 14-2 advantage, allowing Oneida to take a 40-25 lead into the fourth. In the frame, Martin hit a triple, a deuce, and a charity toss. Wisner started the frame by burying a huge triple. The Lady Indians’ remaining five points came via buckets from Bell and Bush and a charity toss from Pike.
The fourth period was a mixed bag of sorts as Pike got hot and the Lady Indians remained defensive minded but Stiltner and Bell both left with injuries and did not return. In the fourth, Oneida rode a hot Pike and Martin to an 18-4 advantage en route to the 29-point victory, 58-29. Pike would score seven points in the frame behind a triple, a deuce, and a pair of charity tosses. Martin worked the break for four points. Oneida’s remaining seven points came via a Smith triple and buckets from Russ and Cross.
ONEIDA (58): Russ 2, Pike 8, Bush 5, Manis 13, Bell 2, Cross 2, Smith 3, Martin 16, Stiltner 4, and Wisner 3.
HARRIMAN (29): Goldston 2, Johnson 8. Thompson 3, Moore 7, and Oliver 9.
Oneida 57, Coalfield 44
COALFIELD — Despite coming out sluggish and playing less than their best on Thursday night, the Lady Indians were able to extinguish the Coalfield Lady Jackets by double-digits, 57-44. The old saying an ugly win is better than a pretty loss was certainly the case throughout this night, as Oneida escaped with the W. Oneida improved to 16-6 overall, 15-0 in district play with the victory.
In a touching pregame ceremony, the teams gathered as one around midcourt in memory of the Henrys (Keith and Jared). The Lady Indians presented Coalfield and the Henry families with shooting shirts in their memory.
Leading the Lady Indians to victory was the trio of Katelyn Stiltner, Gracie Martin, and Raylie Bush. Stiltner dominated the second period and the glass throughout as she recorded a double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds (including seven offensive boards). Stiltner also recorded two steals and two blocks. Martin was steady throughout as she pumped in 13 points while pulling down six rebounds. Martin was also responsible for two assists and three steals. Bush provided a huge spark early, burying two triples in the first on her way to a career-high 10 points. The duo of Kelsey Pike and Caroline Bell also played integral roles in the victory. Pike — the newly crowned District 3-A Player of the Year — found her way in the third, scoring six of her eight points in the frame. Pike also pulled four rebounds and recorded two steals. Bell was also good for eight points while pulling two rebounds and blocking a shot. Oneida’s remaining two points came via Jacey Manis who filled the stat lines across the board as she also recorded four rebounds, two assists, and four steals.
Stiltner quickly opened the scoring to put the Lady Indians up 2-0. Martin then took over as she helped Oneida maintain a slim lead as she scored the next five points to keep Oneida ahead by the score of 7-5. After Coalfield briefly took a 9-7 lead, Bush happened to the tune of back-to-back triples to give the Lady Indians a lead they would not relinquish as they took a 13-9 lead into the second.
It appeared as if the Lady Indians would take a 30-20 lead into the break but Coalfield got a buzzer-beater off from the corner to pull to within seven points at the break, 30-23. In the frame, Stiltner worked the offensive end hard as she would score a total of eight points in the stanza. Her help came in the form of buckets by Bush, Manis, Bell, and Martin and a charity toss from Pike.
Coalfield quickly pulled to within four points at 30-26 in the third quarter before Oneida would close the period on a 15-6 run to take a 45-32 lead into the fourth. Leading the charges in the period were Pike and Stiltner. Pike would score six points on a bucket and four charity tosses while Stiltner chipped in with four points. The Lady Indians also got buckets from Bush and Bell and a charity toss from Martin.
Martin, Bell, Stiltner, and Pike quickly helped Oneida extend their lead to 18 points at 57-39 before Coach West emptied the bench as the Lady Indians cruised to the 57-44 victory. It was Martin scoring five points via a bucket and three charity tosses to lead the way. Bell would score four points while Stiltner buried a short J and Pike knocked home a charity toss to put a cap on scoring.
ONEIDA (57): Pike 8, Bush 10, Manis 2, Bell 8, Martin 13, and Stiltner 16.
COALFIELD (44): Armes 3, Lowe 15, Jackson 17, Bunch 2, and Kees 7.
Oneida 58, Oakdale 27
The Lady Indians clinched the top seed in District 3-A in grand defensive style Tuesday night (Feb. 9) on The Reservation, limiting the Lady Eagles of Oakdale to a mere 11 points through three periods, cruising to a 31pt victory, 58-27.
With the victory, the Lady Indians clinched home court advantage throughout the district tournament (as long as they keep winning). Oneida improved to 15-6 overall, 14-0 in district play.
Twelve of the 13 ladies dressed out found the scoring column, led by the duo of Gracie Martin and Kelsey Pike. Martin came up just shy of a double-double as she pumped home 12 points and pulled eight rebounds. Martin also recorded five assists and three blocks. Pike scored 10 points (including seven points in a big third) while pulling two rebounds and recording five steals. Caroline Bell had a huge night as she was crowned homecoming queen during a pregame ceremony before coming out and scoring eight points on the night. Bell also pulled down four rebounds. Emily Wisner filled the stat sheet across the board as she scored seven points, hauled in five rebounds, dished out two assists, and pulled off six steals. The senior duo of Jacey Manis and Katelyn Stiltner (despite not putting up many points offensively) also contributed heavily to the big victory. Manis would bury a triple while recording four rebounds. Although Stiltner only hit a lone free throw, she pulled 10 rebounds, dished out two assists, and recorded two blocks. Oneida’s remaining 17 points came via Grace Shoemaker with five points (3+2), four points from Faith Cross, a triple from Braelyn Russ, two points each from Raylie Bush and Annaleah Terry, and a charity toss from Ali Smith.
Oneida rode the senior quartet of Martin, Bell, Manis, and Wisner to an 18-2 lead after one. Along with playing solid defense, the Lady Indians worked the break well. Bell and Martin continually hooked up and went coast to coast to the tune of 12 points, six points each. Manis and Wisner each knocked home a triple during the frame.
The second period was by far the ugliest of the night as the Lady Indians continued to play stingy D but the shots weren’t falling per se. All in all, Oneida would outscore Oakdale 9-6 in the period to take a 27-8 lead into the break. It was Martin leading the way with four points, a bucket plus a pair of charity tosses. Pike would contribute a triple while Wisner knocked home a bucket.
Pike helped the Lady Indians put the game away in the third period as Oneida would outscore the Lady Eagles 16-3 to build an insurmountable 42-11 lead after three. Pike would sandwich a 3-pointer around two drives to the lane as she finished the stanza with seven points. Bell and Cross would each contribute a bucket. The Lady Indians’ remainingfive5 points came via the line as Martin and Wisner each knocked down a pair and Stiltner hit 1 of 2.
Coach Marv West turned the game over to his youngsters in the fourth as the outcome was long decided, allowing Oneida to cruise to the 31-point victory, 58-27. It was Shoemaker with the hot hand in the fourth as she buried a triple plus a J to finish the frame with five points. Russ would also bury triple to start the frame, putting the score at 46-11 (the magical 35-point threshold). Oneida’s remaining points came on buckets by Bush, Terry, and Cross and a charity toss from Smith.
ONEIDA (58): Russ 3, Pike 10, Bush 2, Shoemaker 5, Manis 3, Bell 8, Terry 2, Cross 4, Smith 1, Martin 12, Stiltner 1, & Wisner 7.
OAKDALE (27): Snow 2, Taylor 2, Miller 10, Jones 6, and Hicks 7.