HARRIMAN — Oneida fell behind by 16 points in the first half of Wednesday’s District 3-A championship game as Harriman’s Jaylen McCullum put on a first quarter clinic. Then the Indians charged all the way back in the third quarter as Kolby Morgan put on a clinic of his own.
But, ultimately, Harriman was simply too much for the Indians to overcome, as the Blue Devils won the district title with a 91-81 win in what was essentially a home game at Roane State Community College.
McCullum scored 17 points in the first quarter and had 25 by halftime. The Blue Devils were only up by three points after the first, however, as the Indians beat Harriman’s press early and often.
The second quarter was a different story, as Harriman’s defensive adjustments slowed things down. Harriman led by 13 at halftime, 45-32.
Then Morgan got his turn. He scored 20 points in the third period alone, as Oneida charged all the way back to cut the 13-point lead to just one point.
Ultimately, though, Harriman was able to stretch the lead back to five points as the fourth quarter began, then quickly pushed it to 10 points in the final period.
Oneida shot 60 percent for the game, and 75 percent from inside the perimeter, while only turning the ball over 11 times. But it was not enough to overcome a Harriman team that shot 61 percent from the field and hit 13 3-pointers.
Despite the loss, Oneida will host a Region 2-A quarterfinal on Saturday, with Lookout Valley visiting OHS Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. start. Lookout Valley finished third in District 4-A.
Harriman and Oneida could potentially meet for a fourth time this season in the Region 2-A championship game on Thursday. To get there, the Indians have to win games Saturday and Monday. The Monday game would likely be against Tellico Plains, though Sunbright could spring an upset and earn their fourth game of the season against the Indians.
Following the conclusion of Wednesday's game, junior Dalton Yancey and sophomores Kolby Morgan and Nathan Bowling were named to the District 3-A all-tournament team.
ONEIDA (91): Morgan 34, Bowling 15, Botts 10, Yancey 10, West 6, Clark 4, Perry 2.
HARRIMAN (81): McCullum 32, Stubbs 13, Love 12, Copeland 11, Willis 7, Adkisson 7, Braizelle 5, Kocha 4.