MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. — Oneida overcame a slow start here Tuesday (Nov. 14) to pull out a season-opening win, 61-34 over Union County.
Oneida began to catch fire in the second quarter, then pulled away big with a strong third quarter.
A Jayden Thomas 3-pointer and a pair of buckets by Emily Bertram were all the points Oneida could muster in the first quarter. The second quarter was somewhat better, with four field goals supplemented by a five-of-nine effort at the free throw line, as Oneida built a 20-15 lead at the intermission.
Then the Lady Indians caught fire. Thomas and Chelsea Newport knocked down 3-point shots in the third quarter, and Oneida scored 21 points to more than equal its entire first half output. The fourth quarter was nearly as good, as Oneida scored 20 points among six different players to widen the lead.
Union County, meanwhile, never quite got its offense on track against a solid defensive effort from the Lady Indians.
And, on a high note, Oneida’s leading scorer was a freshman. Katelyn Stiltner came off the bench to score 11 points, leading 11 different Oneida players in the scoring column.
Bertram finished with 10 points, followed by Chloe Terry, Harley Boyatt and Logan Lamb with six points each, Chelsea Newport and Shay Buttram with five points, Jace Lowe with four points, Thomas with three points, Gracie Martin with three points and Kendyl West with two points.
Pigeon Forge 51, Oneida 49: The Lady Indians were able to erase a 10-point first half lead in Thursday’s home opener against Pigeon Forge, but the Tigers went on to win the game in overtime, pulling out a 51-49 victory over Oneida.
Emily Bertram had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Jayden Thomas added 13 points that included four 3-pointers, to power Oneida’s come-from-behind effort.
In the end, though, Pigeon Forge made good use of the free throw line, connecting on 15 of 26 attempts in a game that saw Oneida go to the line just 10 times.
That was enough to help the Tigers offset a dominant rebounding effort by Oneida. The Lady Indians had 32 rebounds to just 18 for Pigeon Forge. In addition to Bertram’s nine boards, Harley Boyatt pulled down eight rebounds.
Pigeon Forge used its 2-3 defense effectively in the first half, causing Oneida difficulties on the offensive end. But the shooting of Thomas helped loosen up the zone, giving the Lady Indians more opportunities to attack the post. As a result, Oneida battled back to take the lead, and eventually led by as much as six points in the fourth quarter.
But Pigeon Forge was able to chip away at that lead, eventually tying the game on a 3-point shot by Kennedy Shedwick. A pair of Chloe Terry free throws gave the lead back to Oneida, before the Tigers forced overtime on a late jumper by Megan Parton.
Pigeon Forge had an opportunity to win it in regulation, but Parton missed two free throws with just seconds remaining.
In overtime, Pigeon Forge took the lead for good on a shot by Reegan Hensley, then played solid defense. Harley Boyatt grabbed a rebound on a missed free throw with just seconds remaining and drove the length of the floor, but her buzzer-beater just missed, enabling the Tigers to escape with the win.
PIGEON FORGE (51): M. Parton 18, Shedwick 15, McKenney 10, Hensley 4, Roach 3, I. Parton 1.
ONEIDA (49): Bertram 14, Thomas 13, Boyatt 7, Buttram 5, Terry 4, Stiltner 3, Lamb 2, Newport 1.