OAKDALE — On a night that looked like a blowout win by Oneida, Coach Travis Nelson’s Oakdale team made things interesting for a while in the second half, before the Indians closed the game with a flurry of turnovers forced and buckets made, defeating the Eagles 79-59.
Oneida closed the game on a 25-10 run after Oakdale had gotten as close as five points early in the fourth quarter. Five different Indians finished in double figures, led by Jacob Perry’s 19 and Mason Keeton’s 18. Rylin Duncan had 15, while Zeb Spradlin and Landon Limburg had 12 points each.
Just a couple of hours after Oneida’s Lady Indians opened the game with an 18-2 lead over Oakdale, the men’s team did the same thing. Oneida jumped to an 18-2 lead, then sent the lead to 21-2 on a Limburg 3-pointer late in the first quarter. After the opening period ended, it was a 24-7 lead for the Indians.
But Oakdale, which had already lost to Oneida by 22 points earlier in the season, wasn’t finished. Sidney Gregory provided the spark that his team needed to claw their way back into the game. Gregory had eight of his team’s first 10 points. And while he would not score after that and battled foul troubles in the second half, he finished with a team-high 13.
Oneida maintained a big lead at halftime, 44-27, with Perry and Keeton teaming up for half of their team’s first half points.
But Oakdale staged a big comeback in the third quarter. With Nelson employing his traditional pressure defense that he learned from his coach at Wartburg, Joe Layne, the Eagles raced back to make it an 8-point game midway through the third quarter, after a 13-4 run cut it to 48-40.
Then, early in the fourth quarter, Oakdale got it as close as five points at 54-49. Tempers were flaring on both sides. Oneida got to the free throw line 28 times, which drew the ire of Nelson, while a series of questionable calls had Oneida fans up in arms.
After Oakdale got as close as five points, the Indians knocked down a pair of free throws, scored on a Duncan layup after a turnover, and then got a steal-and-basket from Limburg to quickly turn it into a 10-point game.
After that, the Indians continued to pour it on, pulling away for the 20-point win.
ONEIDA (79): Perry 19, Keeton 18, Duncan 15, Spradlin 15, Limburg 12, West 3, Bell 2, Shoemaker 2.
OAKDALE (59): Gregory 13, Cooney 10, Nance 9, Huskey 9, Miller 7, Trammell 4, Dunlap 4, Barber 3.