LADY INDIANS OUTLAST RFA-49-43-TVL GIRLS HOOPS
Oneida’s Jenna Didio surveys the floor late in the ball game.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t decided until the final minute of the game, but the Oneida Lady Indians hung on for a 49-43 Tri Valley League girl’s basketball win over the RFA Lady Black Knights tonight in Rome.
Jenna Didio made 4 of 5 free throws in the final minute of the ball game on her way to a team high 14 points to lead Oneida to their fifth win in the TVL this season.
Tonight’s win keeps Oneida (5-2) within striking distance of first place Notre Dame (5-1). Oneida improved to (9-4) overall with tonight’s win, while RFA dropped to (8-7) overall and (2-3) in the TVL.
It was breast cancer awareness night at RFA, with both squads donning pink t-shirts, socks and sneaker laces as both squads supported the “Think Pink” program.
This was the first of two league meetings for these two capable teams. The two clubs will meet again at Oneida on 2/6.
From the opening tip of the special pink basketball, both clubs came out showing deliberate, multiple pass-before the shot offensive schemes.
The shot clock became a casualty of this game early on, with both teams looking for the most open player to pass to.
The Lady Indians jumped out to a 12-6 lead after the first eight minutes of play, with Riley Markle accounting for 4 points in the opening quarter.
Jordan General and Kayli Smith were responsible for all 6 points on the RFA side of the scoreboard after the first frame.
General’s put back 1:30 into the first period gave RFA its only lead of the ball game, 2-0.
Oneida’s perimeter passing was crisp and to the point in the second quarter. Jennifer Brodock drained a pair of free throws with 1:40 remaining before half time to lead Lady Indians to an 11 point lead at 21-10.
RFA head coach Allisa Tuthill switched things up a bit in the waning moments of the second quarter, calling on her club to apply full court pressure.
That pressure stopped the bleeding and RFA was able to go to the half down nine points at 21-12.
At the half, Coach Tuthill told My Hometown Sports – ESPN Radio 99.1 FM that she was going to switch things up a little more in the second half, adding some three-point shooters to the lineup, while keeping up the high pressure defense.
Also at the intermission, Oneida head coach Katie Kramer joined ESPN 99.1 FM – MHTS and said that she was pleased with the nine-point lead after sixteen minutes, especially on the road and in such a pivotal game in the tight TVL standings.
Kramer added that her team would need to tighten up a little more on defense and finish a little better in the second half in order to get the win tonight.
The second half saw the pace of the game increase significantly, with both teams using far less of the shot clock than they did in the first half.
Zoe Olmstead’s three pointer with 3:01 to go in the third quarter lifted Oneida to a 31-18 lead, its largest lead of the ball game to that point.
Following a timeout by RFA coach Tuthill, the Lady Black Knights responded by outscoring Oneida 5-2 to close out the third period with the same nine-point deficit they started it with.
The Lady Indians went to the fourth quarter with a nine-point advantage at 32-23. Lexi Skibitski was 4 for 4 from the line in the third period to pace the Lady Indians.
The final eight minutes of this contest was as wild and woolly as the first couple of periods were painstakingly slow and methodical.
RFA battled back strong, outscoring Oneida 12-5 in the first five minutes of the final period to cut the deficit to 37-35.
Krista Anken, Jordan General and McKenzie Guy had 6 points apiece to lead the last quarter assault by RFA, but it was Didio and Jennifer Brodock hitting their free throws down the stretch to lead Oneida to the 49-43 victory.
Jenna Didio, a lightning quick junior who can shoot it, dish it and keep the ball away from opposing defenses as well as any point guard we’ve seen this season, was named the Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game.
Following the close call on the floor tonight, Didio told My Hometown Sports – ESPN 99.1 FM that she was relived to get the big league win against a tough RFA team tonight and that she was very proud of her team’s effort down the stretch as things got a little too close for comfort. Didio finished with a team high 14 points to lead Oneida to victory.
Jordan General led RFA with 13 points on the evening.
Oneida will look to get another one in the win column tomorrow evening when they host long time rival Canastota in a non-league game.
RFA will look to rebound next week when they host Notre Dame.
Oneida 49 Rome Free Academy 43
1 2 3 4 Final
Oneida 12 9 12 17 49
RFA 6 6 11 20 43
MHTS Scoring Summary: