WARTBURG — Oneida got off to a slow start in Friday's District 4-A semifinal here, but took control in the second quarter and never looked back along the way to a 51-36 win over Coalfield for a berth in Monday's district championship game.
Micah Stephens was a force on the post for the Lady Indians, tying a career high with 25 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Jessica Morgan added nine rebounds, while Victoria Williams finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
The big story, though, was the Lady Indians' defense. Oneida was able to limit district player of the year Samantha Hamby to just eight points. In a game at Oneida just two weeks ago, Hamby finished with 31 points.
As a team, Coalfield shot 33 percent. After shooting only 20 percent in the first quarter, Oneida rebounded to shoot 35 percent for the game.
The Lady Indians saw Coalfield build a five-point lead in the first quarter and lead 11-8 going into the second quarter. But the momentum quickly shifted as the second period began. Buckets by Lecretia Robbins and Jessica Morgan gave the Lady Indians their first lead, and a 3-point shot by Morgan pushed the lead to four before Coalfield finally got on the scoreboard again.
A free throw by Mackenzie Cox only slowed the bleeding, however, as Robbins quickly struck back with a 3-point shot at the other end to give the Lady Indians a six-point lead.
Coalfield was never able to get closer than three points after that and trailed 25-19 at the half.
Oneida took control in the third quarter, going on a 13-1 run and holding the Lady Jackets without a field goal until the final minute of the quarter.
The game was never in doubt in the fourth quarter.
Earlier in the night, No. 4 Wartburg stunned top-seeded Oliver Springs, meaning Oneida will face the Bulldogs on Wartburg's home court Monday for the district championship.
The title game appearance will be Oneida's first since 2009, which, ironically, was Marv West's last season as coach of the Lady Indians. Equally ironically, the team the Lady Indians defeated to reach the district championship game that year was Coalfield.
Oneida's last district title came in 2004.
SCORING: Oneida — M. Stephens 25, Morgan 9, Williams 7, Newport 5, Robbins 5. Coalfield — Cox 13, Hamby 9, Layne 4, Berry 4, Jordan 2, Craig 2, Hensley 1.