ONEIDA | Can Joe Layne coach?
Long regarded as one of the best high school basketball coaches in the area during a lengthy tenure at Wartburg, where his teams gave Oneida fits before the Indians began to dominate the series in recent years, Layne has moved on to Kingston. And in his first year with the Yellow Jackets, he has them ranked in the state Class AA polls.
Kingston entered Tuesday's (Jan. 17) game at OHS Gymnasium with only three losses on the season, to face an Oneida team that is playing its best basketball of the season.
And, in a game that featured postseason intensity, Kingston eventually emerged victorious over the Indians, 92-89.
Mason and Grady Keeton, the junior and freshman brothers, each scored 21 points for Oneida. Mason Keeton also had seven assists and five steals. Jeric Huling had 19 points and five assists, while Zeb Spradlin had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Both teams were efficient offensively. Oneida shot 52% from the field, and from 3-point range, hitting a total of 13 of them. Huling led the way with five 3-pointers.
Kingston, meanwhile, was 55% from the field, including 39% from 3-point range.
Aaron Layne scored 26 points to lead the Yellow Jackets. Ethan Clifton added 22.
Oneida has made a habit of dominating the glass against teams this season, but Kingston had a slight rebounding edge in Tuesday's game, 31 to 27.
Neither team was especially effective at turning the other one over. Both had 11 steals, and only one turnover separated the two teams in that department.
The game was tied nine times, and the teams swapped the lead 10 times. Kingston led by as much as 10 points late in the fourth quarter, before Oneida closed with a furious rally that came up just short. Oneida's biggest lead was seven points, midway through the second period. The Yellow Jackets closed the first half with a nine-point run to lead by two points at the intermission.
ONEIDA (89): M. Keeton 21, Gr. Keeton 21, Huling 19, Spradlin 11, Brawner 8, Ga. Keeton 6, Rector 3.
KINGSTON (92): Layne 26, Clifton 22, Mioduski 17, Raymer 8, Herrell 7, Dryman 4, Guettner 4, Brown 2, Jones 2.