OAKDALE — Who is going to step up with Braelyn Russ out?
On Tuesday (Jan. 4), it was Ali Smith who answered the call.
The sophomore had 11 points — hitting three 3-point shots — to help Oneida to a 56-34 win over Oakdale in the Lady Indians’ first game without Russ, the team’s second-leading scorer, who tore her ACL in a Christmas tournament game against Sunbright.
Kelsey Pike scored 12 to lead Oneida in scoring.
Oakdale and Fred Snow are notoriously tough opponents, especially when the game is being played at their place, and Tuesday’s non-region game was no exception for Oneida.
But, at the same time, the game was never in question, and the Lady Indians’ defense had a lot to do with that. Oneida jumped out to an 18-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, leading 33-9 at halftime.
The third quarter was a snoozer. The Lady Indians managed just two points — on a bucket by Rachel Elmore — and the two teams combined for only nine. But it was still Oneida going into the fourth quarter, 35-16.
A key point for the Lady Indians: nine different players scored. Elmore, Raylie Bush and Faith Cross each had seven points, while Grace Shoemaker had six points.
Oakdale’s Amelia Miller had 14 to lead all scorers.
After being limited to only 16 points through the first three quarters, Oakdale’s offense finally came alive in the fourth. In fact, the Lady Eagles scored more points — 18 — in the fourth quarter than in the first three quarters combined.
Unfortunately for Oakdale, Oneida’s offense also came alive in the fourth. After scoring just two points in the third quarter, the Lady Indians scored 21 in the final period. Smith, who had knocked down two 3-pointers to spark the strong start by Oneida, had another 3-pointer in the fourth, while Pike and Elmore also had 3-pointers in the final period.
ONEIDA (56): Pike 12, Smith 11, Bush 7, Elmore 7, Cross 7, G. Shoemaker 6, Martin 2, A. Terry 2, M. Terry 2.
OAKDALE (34): Miller 14, Hamby 8, Hicks 7, Snow 3, Bingham 2.