WARTBURG — On a night when the shots would not fall for either team, Oneida made up for it by crashing the glass. The Indians rode a dominating effort on the boards to a 54-49 win over Jellico in the District 4-A consolation game.
Oneida out-rebounded the Blue Devils 48-32, and had 18 offensive rebounds, in what would turn out to be the game's key difference. Zeke Newport did the most work on the boards, and finished with a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Michael Jeffers had nine rebounds for the Indians to accompany seven points, while Cole West finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Cage West and Bryant Harper each had six boards.
The Indians led most of the night, building a 7-point halftime lead despite their two leading scorers — Cole West and Josh Sharp — being limited to a combined six points in the first half. West had two points before a putback at the second quarter horn to give the Indians their largest lead of the game going into the locker room.
Neither team shot particularly well; Oneida finished 35 percent from the field while Jellico was 34 percent. The Indians shot just 15 percent from 3-point range, while Jellico was 10 percent from long range; together, they were six of 48 from behind the arch.
With Jellico defending West well and Oneida defending Justin Bowlin — the Blue Devils' leading scorer — just as well, other players stepped up. For Oneida, it was Newport. For Jellico, Austin Hunley had 12 points and nine rebounds. Still, Bowlin finished with high point honors, with 15.
Jellico charged back in the third quarter, taking a 33-32 lead midway through the third quarter on a shot by Jason Hale, who finished with 10 points on five-of-six shooting.
But Oneida responded with a 7-0 run, started by Bryant Harper and capped by Tanner Sexton, with a Sharp 3-pointer in between, to regain a six-point lead late in the quarter.
Jellico cut the deficit to a point in the fourth quarter, when Hunter Creekmore scored to make it 43-42. But Josh Sharp nailed another 3-pointer on the next trip. Hunley was able to answer with a three of his own, but West answered right back and the Indians did not allow Jellico any closer.
Oneida will travel to either Grace Christian or Meigs County on Saturday for the first round of the Region 2-A tournament. Those two teams were playing Wednesday in the District 3-A championship game; the Indians will face the loser, while Jellico will face the winner.
ONEIDA (54): Zeke Newport 14, Cole West 12, Josh Sharp 8, Michael Jeffers 7, Cage West 6, Bryant Harper 5, Tanner Sexton 2.
JELLICO (49): Justin Bowlin 15, Austin Hunley 12, Jason Hale 10, Drew Bruce 3, Isaac Mitchell 2, Gage Hyslope 2.