Oneida punched their ticket to the District 3-A championship game Wednesday night in a big way, controlling the ballgame from tip to buzzer against Wartburg on Monday. The Indians set the tempo defensively throughout as they pressured the Bulldogs into turnover after turnover, leading to layup after layup en route the 57-point victory over their arch rival, 87-30.
The Indians jumped out to an 18-3 lead after one and never looked back. Oneida used defensive pressure in the second, forcing a slew of turnovers as the Indians outscored the Dawgs 29-9 in the second to basically put the game to bed in the frame, taking a 47-15 lead into the break. The second half was a mere formality as Oneida outscored Wartburg 23-17 in the third and 17-1 in the fourth.
With the victory, Oneida improves to 19-4 and advances to their third straight District 3-A championship game. The Indians will host the Harriman Blue Devils on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. on The Reservation. The teams held serve during the regular season, each winning on their home court.
Coach Jacob King was able to sub liberally throughout the contest, getting all 15 players lots of game action in a big game. Leading the way on both ends were the quartet of Kolby Morgan, Nathan Bowling, Rylan Duncan and Jeric Huling. Morgan had a huge second period (the recipient of many open layups due to fastbreaks) as he put up 13 of his game-high 21 points in that frame. He would also pull three rebounds, dish out three assists, and record four steals. Bowling had huge first and third periods (seven points in each period) as he finished the night with 16 points. He also pulled four rebounds, doled out four assists, and recorded two steals. Duncan recorded a double-double as he pumped home 11 points and pulled down 13 boards (seven offensive). Huling used five steals and the break to power up 10 points. Jacob Perry had a solid night on the court as he scored six points, hauled in seven rebounds, and blocked three shots. Oneida’s remaining 23 points came via the following seven players: Hayden Brawner, Landon Limburg, Zeb Spradlin, Reece Marcum, Caden Rector, Hunter Hutchinson and Ethan Anderson. Brawner had a big fourth period, finishing with six points. Limburg and Spradlin each scored four points, Spradlin also hauled in four rebounds. Reece Marcum chipped in three points, pulled four rebounds, and took another charge. Rector, Hutchinson, and Anderson each scored two points. Mason Keeton contributed four rebounds.
Defensive effort from the outset was important as the Indians forced a lot of Wartburg turnovers and bad shots, and the offense took advantage on the other end. Oneida would use that effort to build an 18-3 lead after one. It was Bowling and Duncan leading the Tribe. Bowling pumped home seven points while Duncan crashed the offensive glass to finish the frame with five points (and lots of boards, many off his own misses). Also contributing to the cause were Morgan and Spradlin with two points apiece and Huling knocked down a pair from the stripe.
Things got really offensive in the second period as the Indians turned up the pressure defensively, forcing turnover after turnover which led to six Morgan runouts for easy layups. Once the damage was done, Oneida had outscored Wartburg 29-9 (including 13 points from Morgan) to build an insurmountable lead of 35 points heading into the break, 47-12. Huling and Perry would score four points each in the frame while Rector, Bowling, and Duncan scored two points each, and Limburg and Marcum each knocked down a charity toss.
Bowling and Morgan continued the offensive onslaught in the third as that duo would help the Indians outscore Wartburg 23-17 in the frame, taking a clock running lead of 41 points into the fourth (70-29). In the frame, Bowling would score seven points (including a triple) and Morgan scored six points. Scoring four points each were Huling and Duncan. Rounding out the scoring was Perry with a deuce.
The youngsters owned the fourth, outscoring the Dawgs 17-1 with the clock running to push the final margin of victory to 57 points, 87-30. It was Brawner working the glass and paint to the tune of six points to lead the way. Limburg would bury a triple in the frame. Marcum had a nice power move to the hole for two before he exited for the night early in the frame. Oneida’s remaining six points all came on offensive board putbacks by Hutchinson, Anderson, and Spradlin.
ONEIDA (87): Rector 2, Limburg 4, Bowling 16, Hutchinson 2, Anderson 2, Perry 6, Morgan 21, Huling 10, Marcum 3, Spradlin 4, Brawner 6, and Duncan 11.
WARTBURG (30): Carroll 7, Davis 7, Branstetter 6, Heinze 3, Johnson 1, Jones 3, Blalock 2, and Wilson 1.