CLARKRANGE, Tenn. | It wasn't easy. But, then, games in the tinderbox gymnasium here rarely are. And when the final horn sounded, Oneida walked away with a hard-earned 69-58 win over the homestanding Buffaloes here Monday (Nov. 21), the first win of the season for Jacob King's Indians.
Freshman Grady Keeton scored 18 points, his older brother, Mason, scored 17, and Hayden Brawner scored a season-high 12 points to lead the Indians to the win over Clarkrange.
Oneida led most of the night — though the two teams did trade the lead four times — but Clarkrange was good enough to prevent the Indians from ever really putting the game away until the latter stages of the contest. Oneida led by just three points after the first quarter and by only four, 34-30, at halftime.
The Indians were able to build an 11-point lead in the third quarter, but Clarkrange managed to get it back to single digits going into the fourth quarter.
The Indians didn't shoot poorly from the field, finishing 47%. And they weren't terribly bad from the free throw line, finishing 11 of 19 for 58%. But Clarkrange proved to be a resilient opponent, and was able to keep the game closer than it might otherwise have been by taking advantage of the free throw line. The Buffaloes were 19 of 24 from the line, 79%.
Oneida out-rebounded Clarkrange, 36-24. Leading the way were Brawner, Gavin Keeton and Zeb Spradlin. Each of the three post players finished with six boards.
Mason Keeton had a team-high five assists, while Caden Rector and Jeric Huling each had four assists.
The win was the first of the season for Oneida, after the Indians battled two larger-classification teams in David Crockett and Fulton in Saturday's opening day of play.
Mason Keeton was named the First National Bank Player of the Game for his efforts. Brawner received the Trophy Masters Hustle Award after finishing with 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting, six rebounds and two steals.
ONEIDA (69): G. Keeton 18, M. Keeton 17, Brawner 12, G. Keeton 7, Spradlin 6, Rector 5, Bell 2.
CLARKRANGE (58): J. Cordell 19, C. Cordell 12, Byrd 11, Beaty 7, Swallows 7, Bush 2.