ONEIDA | Oneida’s rivalry with Greenback is well-documented in football. And, lately, it’s become a bit of a rivalry in soccer. Both sports have featured some tight games that have gone both ways.
For that matter, Oneida and Greenback have played some meaningful close games on the basketball court through the years.
But Friday’s Region 2-A quarterfinal game at OHS Gymnasium would not be one of those games. The Lady Indians dominated the Cherokees, winning 62-20 to advance to the region semifinals at Wartburg.
In fact, speaking of football, Greenback’s box score resembled a football game more closely than a basketball game. A field goal and a safety in the first quarter. A touchdown and a two-point conversion in the second quarter. A touchdown in the third quarter. A goose egg in the fourth quarter.
Oneida’s defense was as dominant as ever, as the Lady Indians recorded 22 steals and forced the Cherokees into a whopping 35 turnovers.
Perhaps the most important thing about Oneida’s 22 team steals was that no player had more than three. Rachel Elmore, Ali Smith and Lydia Kline each had three.
Meanwhile, Kelsey Pike scored 24 points and hauled in a team-high six rebounds to help pace her team to the easy victory.
Braelyn Russ continued her late-season resurgence, scoring 12 points.
Elmore had a team-high five assists, while Annaleah Terry also added six rebounds.
Oneida shot 44% from the field while limiting Greenback to 23%. As a result, the Lady Indians jumped out to a 20-5 lead in the first quarter, and led 33-13 at halftime.
That lead was more than enough, but the Lady Indians would continue to grow it in the second half, out-scoring Greenback 19-7 in the third quarter before holding the Cherokees scoreless in the final period.
The impressive showing by Oneida saw everyone on the roster play minutes. Larissa Jones came off the bench to score six points for Oneida in the second half.
The game was a far cry from last year’s region semifinal game at Harriman, when the Lady Indians needed a big comeback after a strong start by Greenback to defeat the Cherokees by 11 points and keep their season alive.
With the win on Friday, Oneida will face a recent nemesis — Midway — in the region semifinals at Wartburg on Monday. The Green Wave defeated Wartburg 50-32 on Friday. The winner of Monday’s game will not only earn a spot in Wednesday’s region championship game, but will also advance to the substate.
Oneida coach Marv West and Midway coach Michael Hayes are certainly familiar with one another. While the two teams last met in the 2021 district semifinals, a game the Lady Indians won by 30, they played 12 times between 2017 and 2021. Most memorably, the two teams played four times during the 2018-2019 season, meeting twice in the postseason as both advanced to the state tournament.
ONEIDA (62): Pike 24, Russ 12, Kline 6, Jones 6, Bush 4, G. Shoemaker 4, Stiltner 2, Smith 2, West 2.
GREENBACK (20): S. McDonnell 8, Alexander 6, Albright 2, Davis 2, E. McDonnell 2.