Oneida point guard Chloe Terry passes the ball ahead to a teammate during the Lady Indians' win at Wartburg on Friday, February 15, 2019 | Sarah Dunlap/IH

It started with defense, but Sale Creek’s woes against Oneida in Friday’s Region 2-A quarterfinal were much more problematic than just defense, as the Lady Indians overwhelmed the Panthers, 78-25.

Oneida dominated both ends of the court, scoring a whopping 55 first half points and leading by 41 points by the intermission.

The Lady Indians’ pressing defense gave Sale Creek fits early on. The Panthers had nine turnovers in a first quarter that saw Oneida jump to a 25-6 lead. That number quickly swelled to 12 when Sale Creek turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the second quarter. By game’s end, the Panthers had 30 turnovers against Oneida’s stingy defense.

Meanwhile, the offense settled in. When the Lady Indians weren’t getting easy transition buckets off of steals, they were knocking down shots in their half-court game. Oneida shot 43 percent for the game, but that number was deceiving; the Lady Indians shot 53 percent in the first half before calling off the dogs. Twelve different players scored, including four in double figures.

And all that despite still being down a starter, as junior Kendyl West continued to recover from an appendectomy.

It was Sale Creek’s largest margin of defeat this season — despite playing three games against Tellico Plains, the state’s sixth-ranked team in Class A. Oneida will meet Tellico Plains in the Region 2-A semifinals on Monday at Roane State Community College in Harriman.

The Lady Indians scored 25 first quarter points, then put up a season-high 30 in the second quarter before hitting cruise control. All of the forced turnovers led to a season-high 70 shot attempts for the Lady Indians — just about twice as many attempts on the goal as Sale Creek had.

While they were forced into 30 turnovers, the Panthers also had difficulty shooting the ball when they did get open looks. They hit just 22 percent, including just one 3-pointer. The free throw line didn’t go much better. After a 3 of 4 start, Sale Creek hit only 5 of 15 the rest of the way, finishing 42 percent from the line. 

Oneida was 12 of 22 from the line.

The Lady Indians had six blocked shots.

ONEIDA (78): Thomas 14, Terry 12, Stiltner 11, Martin 10, Newport 9, Lamb 6, Boyatt 4, Cross 4, Manis 2, Bell 2, Boyatt 2, Wisner 2.

SALE CREEK (25): Derlak 7, Phillips 5, Preston 4, H. Holland 4, H. Defore 2.