A determined Sunbright team weathered the storm early, then walked away from OHS Gymnasium Tuesday, Jan. 22, with a 60-53 win over Oneida to claim second place in District 4-A.
Tyler Seabolt scored 18, Matthew Bakker added 15 and Kyle Gunter had 13 as the Tigers rebounded from a double-digit deficit early to claim the win.
Noah Duncan scored 18 to lead Oneida, while Cole West added 13 points and 11 rebound. Clay Jeffers had 10 points.
Duncan started the game red-hot, scoring 16 of Oneida’s first 26 points as the Indians raced to a 26-10 lead midway through the second period.
But Sunright was able to regroup, shaving the deficit to 31-23 at the half with a 13-5 run.
The third quarter was much of the same, as Sunbright used another 13-5 run to tie the game at 36 with 2:43 remaining.
Still, Oneida never trailed, and led 43-41 going into the fourth quarter.
In the final period, the Tigers saw Oneida surge ahead by seven — 48-41 — on a 3-point shot by Jeffers. But from there, the game belonged to Sunbright.
The Tigers used a 10-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 51-50 with 1:33 remaining when Bakker made the first of two free throws. With Oneida unable to score, the Tigers eventually expanded the lead to 56-50 before another Jeffers 3-point shot with 13 seconds remaining. But Bunch answered with two free throws to put the game out of reach.
The win handed Sunbright a half-game lead on the runner-up spot in District 4-A heading into Monday’s game at Wartburg. With a Sunbright loss to Wartburg, Oneida could force a coin-flip for second place by winning out.
However, the difference in second and third is expected to be merely a matter of jersey color in a semifinal rematch between the Indians and Tigers in the district tournament.
SCORING: Oneida — Duncan 18, C. West 18, C. Jeffers 10, Allen 7, Boshears 3, M. Jeffers 2. Sunbright — Seabolt 18, Bakker 15, Gunter 13, Bunch 7, Swint 7.