COALFIELD — Oneida survived a dormant second quarter for a knock-out win over Coalfield in its District 3-A opener here Friday, claiming a 53-17 win in a game that was never close.
After scoring 22 points in the first quarter, Oneida struggled offensively in the second quarter, but the offense finally clicked again in the third.
Mason Keeton scored 13 points and Zeb Spradlin added 10, as the Indians jumped out to a 22-6 first quarter lead and led 24-8 at halftime. Oneida went on a 19-4 run in the third quarter to put the game away.
“Coalfield is not that bad,” Oneida coach Jacob King said after the game. “They played Lenoir City to a close game the other day. I challenged my guys to rebound and defend, and that's what they did.”
The Indians' offense continues to struggle to some degree, but King said he was proud of the way his team's defense carries them.
“We're exerting so much energy on defense that it takes away from our legs. It's going to take a while for our legs to catch up,” King said. “But we did some good things. Right now we're counting on our defense to get us through until we can get our offense going.”
Keeton is expected to contribute in a big way; he's the Indians' leading scorer on the season. But in addition to Spradlin having a big game, Hayden Brawner also stepped up. The sophomore scored eight points in the first half to help the Indians build the 16-point halftime lead.
“We had some people who played well,” King said. “Zeb Spradlin had a good night. Hayden Brawner had a good night. To come on the road in the district and hold them to 17 points, I'm proud of our defensive effort tonight.”
ONEIDA (53): M. Keeton 13, Spradlin 10, West 8, Brawner 8, Duncan 6, Perry 4, Bell 2, Shoemaker 2.
COALFIELD (17): Galyon 5, Lowe 3, Noe 3, Green 3, Conllon 2, Mullins 1.