Dalton Yancey looks on intently as the referee tosses up the ball at the beginning of Oneida's game against Rockwood at OHS Gymnasium on Friday, January 4, 2019 | Sarah Dunlap/IH

“If Oneida shoots it like that, they are going to beat us every time.”

Those were the words of Rockwood coach Paul Kamikawa after his team left Oneida with a 63-41 defeat on Friday.

The Indians shot 52 percent from the field, including 46 percent from 3-point range, to beat the Tigers in a key District 3-A matchup.

Rockwood entered Friday’s games with just five wins under its belt on the season, but had looked good in district play. The Tigers had defeated Oakdale, which had beaten Oneida, and had come within two points of beating Harriman, which also defeated the Indians.

But Friday’s game saw Oneida lead from almost start to finish. Rockwood grabbed an early 2-0 lead, then never led again.

Dalton Yancey scored 19 points and had nine rebounds, while Kolby Morgan added 12 points and Nathan Bowling finished with 11, as the Indians pulled away for a victory that lifted them to fourth place in the district standings and kept them within one game of Wartburg and Harriman. The Bulldogs were to have visited OHS Gymnasium on Tuesday.

The Indians’ shooting caught the attention of Kamikawa, but their defense was just as good. Oneida forced Rockwood into 22 turnovers and limited the Tigers to just 17 first half points, building a 29-17 lead through the first two quarters.

The second half was only marginally better for Rockwood, which never scored more than four points in a row. 

The Indians won comfortably despite a decided advantage at the free throw line for the Tigers. Oneida was five of eight from the line. Rockwood was 17 of 24 from the stripe.

ONEIDA (63): Yancey 19, Morgan 12, Bowling 11, Botts 9, Carson 6, Clark 4, West 2.

ROCKWOOD (41): Brackett 17, Boles 10, Sands 8, Bazel 3, Orr 2, Reano 1.