Oneida split with Coalfield in the regular season, winning at home and losing by a narrow, 67-64 margin on the road.
But Thursday's elimination game in Coalfield was anything but a narrow game, as the Yellow Jackets took control early and kept their foot on the gas, defeating the Indians 64-42 in the quarterfinals of the District 3-A tournament.
Parker McKinney scored 21 points and had seven rebounds as he led his team to the semifinal round and helped eliminate the Indians from the postseason.
Coalfield jumped to a nine-point lead in the first quarter and eventually led by as much as 15 points in the second quarter. Oneida managed to mount a bit of a comeback, cutting the deficit to as little as six points late in the period. But the Yellow Jackets closed the first half strong, widening their lead to 14 points.
Coalfield forced Oneida to shoot the ball poorly and turn it over frequently, often using defense to create offense. The Yellow Jackets shot 42 percent from the field to Oneida's 33 percent. The Indians shot 20 3-point attempts, hitting only 15 percent from long range.
The Yellow Jackets made just one 3-pointer, but didn't need to. Instead, they used the free throw line to their advantage. Coalfield got to the line a whopping 39 times, hitting 23. The Indians, by contrast, got to the line only 14 times, hitting nine.
Up 14 at halftime, Coalfield outscored Oneida by 10 in the third quarter — 22-12 — to essentially put the game out of reach.
Thursday's game was the last for a handful of Oneida seniors, including Zac Kazee, Dawson Branstetter, Dante West, Zac Burchfield, Logan Stephens, Sam Carroll and Clay King. It is a heavy toll for the Indians, with five out of the seven having started games at some point this season, and many of them starting regularly for multiple seasons.
However, the Indians' hope for the future lies in their younger players — specifically, a junior varsity team that lost just twice this season and often dominated its competition.
COALFIELD (64): Pa. McKinney 21, Kilby 8, Carroll 7, Miklas 7, Pe. McKinney 6, Keathley 6, Byrd 3, Coker 2, Lowe 2, Jones 1, Johnson 1.
ONEIDA (42): Yancey 8, Branstetter 8, Carroll 6, Bowling 6, E. West 6, Kazee 4, Stephens 2, King 1.