Some days, it’s just your day.
Friday was definitely Chance Botts’ day. And it was most of his teammates’ day, too.
Down two starters and needing a bounce-back win in District 3-A action, the Indians shot the proverbial lights out in a 67-35 win over Oliver Springs.
Friday was not a good day for a Bobcats team still searching for its first win to make the drive to Oneida. The Indians, who were looking for a way to get back on the winning track after a narrow loss at Wartburg and more than a week off due to snow, shot 61 percent from the field, including a stunning 69 percent from 3-point range.
But those numbers didn’t quite tell the story. Those numbers took the second half into account.
Oneida had a good second half by any serious measure, out-scoring Oliver Springs 28-13 even as the Indians began to shuttle a healthy number of reserves into the game. But the true story was told in the first half.
In that first half, Oneida jumped to a 39-22 lead behind exceptional shooting. The Indians shot 76 percent from the field in that first half, and 100 percent from 3-point range.
Behind those lofty percentages was the shooting of Botts. The junior point guard hit 82 percent of his shots — nine of 11 — and hit six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 29 points. In fact, he hit his first six 3-point shots before finally missing one early in the fourth quarter and taking a seat.
Logan Stephens had 13 points for Oneida, and he shot six of seven. No Oneida player missed more than three shots.
Bryson Williford scored 12 points to lead Oliver Springs, while Bryson Alcorn added 10.
The Bobcats, who are in a transitional year with a new coach after Tony Ingram departed the program last year, are winless on the season. But in a league where nothing is a given, Oneida was able to take care of its business by forcing the Bobcats into 19 turnovers and by coming up big on the glass, with a +8 rebounding advantage. The Indians also held Oliver Springs below 30 percent shooting.
The win kept Oneida in third place in the district standings, just ahead of Coalfield and Wartburg, and behind Oakdale and Harriman. The Indians have games remaining against each of those teams.
ONEIDA (67): Botts 29, Stephens 13, Yancey 9, Bowling 5, E. West 4, D. West 3, Burchfield 2, Carson 2.
OLIVER SPRINGS (35): Williford 12, Alcorn 10, Jones 4, Woods 3, Walker 3, Hill 3.