WARTBURG, Tenn. | Coalfield was scrappy. But the Yellow Jackets got Cadenized in the fourth quarter.
With junior Caden Rector leading the charge, Oneida surged for a 13-0 start to the fourth quarter and put the game away. By the time the dust settled, the Indians defeated the Yellow Jackets 72-51 to advance to substate for the first time since 2020.
Rector hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 second half points to lead the Indians to the season-extending win. He was just one of four Oneida players in double figures. Mason Keeton led the way with 19, while Grady Keeton had 14 and Jeric Huling finished with 10. Mason Keeton also had eight assists.
Oneida wasn’t able to turn Coalfield over as much as the Indians would likely have preferred; the Yellow Jackets had just 12 turnovers. But Oneida shot 59% from the field, including 63% in the second half, and ran away with the win.
Coalfield struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 40% for the game and leaving a total of 11 points at the line.
In the end, though, it didn’t matter. The Indians used two key runs to decide the game.
The first came at the end of the first half, when Oneida closed on a 14-4 run to take a 31-21 lead to the locker room at the intermission.
Coalfield got as close as six points in the third quarter, and trailed by just seven going into the fourth quarter. But the Indians started the final period with a 13-0 run to take control of the game, eventually leading by as much as 26 points before settling for the 21-point win.
The win pushes Oneida to the Region 2-A championship game on Thursday, which will determine whether the Indians play at home or on the road in Monday’s substate game.
Greenback and Oakdale were battling it out in Wartburg Tuesday night for the right to face the Indians on Thursday. On the other side of the state bracket, University High defeated Cosby 70-46 and will be one of the substate teams. Hampton was leading North Greene in the fourth quarter of the other Region 1-A semifinal.
ONEIDA (72): M. Keeton 19, Gr. Keeton 14, Rector 11, Huling 10, Ga. Keeton 7, Spradlin 5, Brawner 2, Zachary 2.
COALFIELD (51): West 11, Hamby 11, Conlon 10, Armstrong 4, Brown 3, Hudson 2.