Oneida looked very much like a team primed for a deep postseason run here Tuesday, January 29, breaking a two-way tie for second place in District 3-A in dominating fashion, with an 89-53 defeat of Oakdale.
Four days after letting an opportunity to grab the District 3 lead slip away at Harriman, the Indians showed that they weren’t prepared to let second place slip away, as well. Oneida controlled every phase of the game, and Oakdale never led after it was 2-0 early in the first quarter.
Sophomores Nathan Bowling and Kolby Morgan teamed up for 39 points, scoring 22 and 17, respectively. Chance Botts and Dalton Yancey each scored 11.
The game was essentially over before it had gotten started, after Oneida jumped to a 20-5 lead by the end of the first quarter. The lead was 20 points at halftime, 46-26, before Oneida drove the final nail home in the third quarter.
The Indians shot 46 percent from the field and 65 percent from the free throw line. Oakdale was 39 percent from the field and 55 percent from the line.
And while the Eagles pride themselves on their pressure defense, it was Oneida’s defense that made all the difference. The Indians forced Oakdale into 24 turnovers.
Oneida also had a 41-35 rebounding advantage, with 15 offensive rebounds.
After Oakdale took an early 2-0 lead on a shot by Garrett Miller, Oneida reeled off 11 straight to take control of the game early. Morgan hit a 3-point shot to cap the early run, and then the Indians closed the opening period on a 9-0 run to take complete control.
The two teams had entered Tuesday’s game in a virtual tie for second place in the district, though Oakdale had a half-game advantage by virtue of having played one extra game. The win gives the Indians a big leg up in the battle for the district’s No. 2 seed heading into the postseason.
ONEIDA (89): Bowling 22, Morgan 18, Botts 11, Yancey 11, Perry 7, Carson 5, West 5, Clark 4, Chambers 2, Chamberlain 2, Dewitt 2.
OAKDALE (53): Nelson 20, Smith 10, Best 7, Goldston 5, Miller 4, Solomon 3, Ford 2, Tilson 2.