O.S. squeaks by OHS to clinch district



[php]if( function_exists('ADDTOANY_SHARE_SAVE_KIT') ) { ADDTOANY_SHARE_SAVE_KIT(); }[/php]

Oliver Springs withstood a late surge by Oneida to earn a 53-49 win on senior night at OHS Gymnasium Friday.

The Bobcats, who defeated the Lady Indians by 28 the first time they met, found themselves in a battle with Oneida on Friday, with the regular season district championship on the line.

In a winner-take-all battle for the district's No. 1 seed and an automatic berth in the region tournament, Rachel Griffith scored 24 points and her twin sister Emily added 12 despite missing the game's final 10 minutes with an ankle injury.

Oliver Springs twice built a 10-point lead, only to see the Lady Indians battle back twice. But, in the end, Oneida ran out of time against the Bobcats.

The loss leaves Oneida with the No. 2 seed in District 4-A. The Lady Indians will host No. 7 Jellico in the opening round of the district tournament Tuesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Oneida sophomore post player Victoria Williams had her first career double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Indians, including two big offensive putbacks in the fourth quarter. Freshman Baylee Newport led Oneida in scoring for a third consecutive game, with 14 points.

Foul trouble -- which has become a theme for Oneida in the latter part of the season -- was again an issue, with as many as four Lady Indian starters resting for much of the second period after picking up their second foul.

As a result, Oliver Springs enjoyed a 17-6 advantage at the free throw line. The Bobcats made just eight of those opportunities (47 percent), but that proved to be the difference in the ballgame, as the Lady Indians made four free throws (67 percent).

With two post players on the bench with two fouls each, Shelby Thompson played important minutes for the Lady Indians, finishing with six points and three blocked shots. As a team, Oneida blocked six shots.

Oneida dominated the glass, holding a 31-17 rebounding advantage, including 12 rebounds on the offensive end of the court.

But the Bobcats negated that advantage by forcing the Lady Indians into a season-high 27 turnovers.

Oliver Springs shot 48 percent from the field, while Oneida shot 41 percent.

SCORING: Oneida -- Newport 14, Williams 12, M. Stephens 8, Thompson 6, Caldwell 5, Lay 2, Caldwell 2. Oliver Springs -- E. Griffith 24, R. Griffith 12, Ball 7, Giles 5, Snellings 4, Morgan 1.

Contact the Independent Herald at newsroom@ihoneida.com. Follow us on Twitter, @indherald.