WARTBURG — Oneida sophomore Jessica Morgan led all scorers with 11 points, none of them as big as a 3-point shot she hit in the waning seconds to propel the Lady Indians to a 36-34 District 4-A win over Wartburg here Friday night.
With time ticking away in Friday’s matchup, it appeared that Wartburg was on the verge of avenging an earlier loss at Oneida. The Bulldogs held a 34-32 lead and had the basketball, and the Lady Indians’ leading scorer — Micah Stephens — had fouled out of the game.
But after intentionally fouling to send Wartburg to the line, Oneida saw its fortunes reversed when Kristie Phillips missed the front-end of a one-plus-one opportunity. Shelby Thompson rebounded and flipped the ball to Morgan, who never hesitated before launching a 3-point shot from the right wing.
Morgan’s shot would turn out to be the game-winner, but not before a bizarre sequence of events that left fans and coaches of both teams frustrated.
With Wartburg scrambling against a pressuring Oneida defense after Morgan’s 3-point shot with 22 seconds remaining, an official called a back-court violation on the Bulldogs for stepping across the mid-court stripe. After a brief conference, however, the 3-man officiating crew opined that Wartburg had called time out before the violation occurred, awarding possession back to the home team.
After the clock was adjusted from 3.5 seconds to 5.5 seconds, Oneida was whistled for a foul, putting Nina Carter at the free throw line. The Wartburg forward appeared to hit the game-tying free throw, but an official said she stepped across the line too early, resulting in a lane violation and awarding possession to Oneida.
Morgan then made one of two free throws, and yet another clock adjustment added a half-second, giving the Bulldogs an opportunity to launch a desparation 3-point shot as the buzzer sounded, which came up short.
Wartburg led in nearly every statistical category, including shooting percentage and rebounding. But the Lady Indians forced Wartburg into 20 turnovers, which played a key role in the game’s outcome.
The win enabled the Lady Indians to hang on to their tie for second place in the district and stay within one game of Oliver Springs, which will visit OHS Gymnasium for the regular season finale next month.
SCORING: Oneida — Morgan 11, Lay 7, Robbins 6, Stephens 6, Newport 4, Williams 2. Wartburg — Hamby 11, Phillips 10, Laughter 8, Hurtt 3, Carter 2.