Oneida was able to outlast a feisty and upset-minded Coalfield team at OHS Gymnasium Monday evening, scoring a 73-64 win over the Yellow Jackets.
Coalfield entered the game fresh off a one-point, overtime loss to Sunbright, which came after the Yellow Jackets defeated Jellico to become one of the district's most dangerous spoiler teams.
The win was Oneida's second consecutive in district play after a mid January tailspin that saw the Indians lose three in a row in district play and six out of seven overall.
Senior forward Clay Jeffers had a big game for the Indians, with a season-high 21 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Cole West added 20 points and seven rebounds. Noah Duncan had 14, including 12 in the first half as the Indians opened a double-digit lead. Duncan finished four-of-six from 3-point range. Trevor Allen had 13 and six rebounds for the Indians.
Ryan Hill led four Coalfield players in double figures with 18. Jason Lee added 16.
The Indians trailed for much of the first quarter, and saw Coalfield take a 20-19 lead to the second quarter. But Oneida went on a 25-15 run to take a 44-35 lead to the intermission.
Coalfield continued to hang around throughout the second half, however, trimming the lead to an uncomfortable margin every time the Indians appeared on the brink of putting it away.
The Jackets cut the gap to four points, 55-51, early in the fourth quarter, but West and Jeffers scored on back-to-back trips, followed by a pair of free throws by Jeffers, to build the lead to 10 with 5:27 remaining. Coalfield would stay within striking distance but could not seriously threaten the rest of the way.
The game could potentially be a preview of the first round of the district tournament next week. The win assured the Indians of lower than a third place finish in the district, which will mean a first round home game on Thursday, Feb. 14, against the district's No. 6 team -- which is likely to be Coalfield.
SCORING: Oneida -- C. Jeffers 21, C. West 20, Duncan 14, Allen 13, Yaden 2, Boshears 2, M. Jeffers 1. Coalfield -- Hill 18, Lee 16, Ariaz 12, Hall 10, Johnson 4, Rainey 2, Browning 2.