For better than 31 minutes of game time Friday, it looked like Oliver Springs was going to pull off a stunning upset in District 3-A play.
The Bobcats led Oneida nearly start to finish on the Indians’ home floor. But then came a barrage of 3-pointers to end regulation, and Oneida ultimately survived in double-overtime, defeating the Bobcats 75-69.
Oneida hit three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds of OT, using fouls to stop the clock in between.
Oliver Springs made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch, which was as much as head coach Wesley Rather could’ve asked for.
But what Rather didn’t want to see his team do was lose Mason Keeton on the game’s most crucial possession. Keeton buried a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2.8 seconds left to force overtime, and the Indians ultimately prevailed.
Keeton finished with a career-high 32 points and eight rebounds to power the Indians to the victory. But he wasn’t alone. Fellow sophomore Hayden Brawner had what was arguably the best game of his young career, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds. Rylin Duncan had 10.
Oliver Springs jumped to a 14-9 lead after the first quarter, led at halftime by four, and led by seven after three quarters.
But Oneida slowly clawed back in the fourth. The Bobcats’ Javan Barger scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, while Keaton McDonald scored 10 of his 19 in the fourth. But Mason Keeton was even bigger. The sophomore scored 13 fourth quarter points, including two huge 3-pointers down the stretch.
Oneida hit a total of five 3s in the final period of regulation. Landon Limburg and Brock West both knocked down key shots to help the Indians sneak back into it. That was followed by a 3-pointer from the left wing by Keeton to make it a two-point game with 25 seconds left.
Oliver Springs hit two free throws, but Jacob Perry knocked down a 3-pointer from almost the same spot as Keeton, and it was a one-point game.
The Bobcats again made two free throws, but they lost Keeton on the other end. Keeton handed the ball off to West, both defenders went with West, and Keeton was left wide open for the game-tying 3-pointer from the corner.
The first overtime was a slug fest. Oneida scored early on a pair of free throws by Brawner, then wouldn’t score again. But Oliver Springs could only muster a field goal by McDonald, and the game went to a second overtime.
The Indians took over in the final minute of the second OT. When they went up by five points, 71-66, on a Keeton bucket with 44 seconds remaining, it marked the first time in the game that they had a two-possession lead.
Duncan and Keeton hit shots after that to make it a 75-66 game before Oliver Springs scored its first and only field goal of the second overtime on a Tanner Melton 3-pointer.
With the win, the Indians remain unbeaten in district play.
ONEIDA (75): M. Keeton 32, Brawner 13, Duncan 10, Limburg 8, Perry 5, B. West 3, Bell 2, Shoemaker 2.