Parker McKinney was Parker McKinney Friday night, and that was all that mattered.
The Yellow Jacket junior, a front-runner for the District 4-A MVP award, scored 29 points to accompany six rebounds and five steals, as Coalfield snapped Oneida’s three-game winning streak with a 69-52 win at OHS Gymnasium.
Oneida, at 3-3 in district play, entered Friday’s game ahead of Coalfield in the district standings. The Yellow Jackets entered with a 2-4 record in league play.
But 16 points by JD Thomas and 12 by Zak Kazee were not enough for the Indians, as McKinney scored 20 second half points to help his team escape an upset-minded Oneida squad.
Oneida trailed by just two points at the half, 25-23, and much of the reason was the free throw line, as Coalfield owned a sizable advantage there in the first half.
But McKinney began to take over in the second half, and the outside shots started to fall for the Yellow Jackets. Coalfield did not have a 3-pointer in the first half, and relied mostly on its transition game for points. The Jackets finished with just three shots from the perimeter, but those three were big. James Lee knocked down two 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Coalfield open a lead and put pressure on the Indians.
Still, the game did not get out of hand until the fourth quarter, when Coalfield’s defensive pressure forced a series of Oneida turnovers that helped the Yellow Jackets widen the lead.
The Jackets were relentless with their defensive pressure in the second half, even continuing to press with less than a minute remaining and a 17-point lead.
Two other Coalfield players — Lee and Tyler Keathley — finished in double figures, and the Yellow Jackets shot 48 percent from the field.
Coalfield also used the free throw line to its advantage, finishing 20 of 27. Oneida was 10 of 13 from the line.
Oneida managed to stay within one rebound of the bigger Coalfield squad, 28-27, despite having its posts sidelined by foul troubles for much of the first half. But the Indians committed 22 turnovers on the night, which they were unable to overcome.
ONEIDA (52): Thomas 16, Kazee 12, Branstetter 9, Yancey 7, Marlow 5, Buttram 2, Marcum 1.
COALFIELD (69): Pa. McKinney 29, Lee 14, Keathley 11, Osborne 7, Lowe 4, Johnson 4.