For the second time this season, Oneida avoided Sunbright's upset bid by the slimmest of margins Friday, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 49-40 win over the Tigers.
The game was not as easy as the final score might have indicated. In his first return to OHS Gymnasium as a head coach, former Indians head man Rusty Yaden had his team prepared to spring what would have been a considerable upset in District 4-A. The Tigers grabbed the lead at one point in the third quarter, and had the game as close as one point early in the fourth quarter.
With Emily Bertram leaving the game with a head injury late in the first half, and Sunbright's defensive game plan designed to take away the scoring of Baylee Thomas, Oneida used individual efforts on the offensive end by Emily Brooks and Sidney Dishman to survive the Tigers.
Brooks scored eight points in the third quarter, en route to a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds, to help the Lady Indians maintain the narrowest of advantages. Then Dishman, who was sidelined by fouls for most of the game, came on in the fourth quarter to knock down back-to-back 3-point shots and give Oneida breathing room that it would not relinquish.
Hannah Bowling had a double-double for Sunbright, with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The biggest stories of the game were fouls and rebounding. Oneida was in foul trouble for much of the evening. Dishman played just 30 seconds of the third quarter before picking up her fourth foul, while freshman post Harley Boyatt played much of the second half with four fouls. Thomas also had three first half fouls, though she managed to avoid a fourth in the second half.
The Lady Indians dominated the glass, out-rebounding Sunbright 43-22, with 13 offensive rebounds. Brooks, a point guard, led the way, with nine boards, while Boyatt had eight boards off the bench. Thomas and Bertram each finished with seven rebounds.
ONEIDA (49): Brooks 15, Bertram 12, Dishman 11, Wright 4, B. Thomas 3, Boyatt 2, Newport 2.
SUNBRIGHT (40): Bowling 14, Hamby 9, A. Brown 6, Farmer 3, Stephens 3, Byrd 2, M. Brown 2, Northrup 1.