HOLLAND PATENT — The No. 13 seed Oneida boys basketball team went on the road on Friday night and surprised No. 4 seed Holland Patent, 62-53, in the second round of the Section III Class B tournament.
“The game was a little sloppy, I think because of the nerves,” Oneida head coach Jeff Didio said. “I thought in the fourth quarter that we rebounded the ball well and defensively that’s what won it for us.”
The Indians, who are 9-12 on the season, will next travel to No. 5 seed Homer on Tuesday night for a Class B quarterfinal matchup. Game-time has yet to be determined.
Holland Patent ends its season with a 16-5 record.
“I thought that we executed some nice little out of bounds plays at the end that helped, too,” Didio said.
The Indians never trailed over the course of the game.
Vinny Leibl’s three-pointer to kick off the fourth quarter gave Oneida a 47-40 lead but the Golden Knights did not stop pestering the Indians.
HP’s Colin Corrigan had his layup fall with 5:23 remaining in the game and Nolan Kochan hit a big three-pointer with 4:16 remaining in the game to make the game 49-47 in favor of the visitors.
After a brief scoring drought, Corrigan again hit another layup to finish with four points in the final period to finish with a game-high 19 points.
Josh Ernst finished with 16 points for the Golden Knights in the loss.
Oneida made its free throws down the stretch, with Leibl making three of them to seal the game despite a late three by Kochan for HP. Leibl finished with 10 points for Oneida.
The visitors jumped out to an early 10-2 lead in the first quarter after Jacob Vaccaro kicked the scoring off with a straight on three-pointer, John Jones scored the next four points for Oneida and Alex Vaccaro also nailed a three-pointer in the early 10-2 run for Oneida.
Jones finished with a team-high 15 points and Alex Vaccaro finished with 14 points for Oneida in the win.
“It was all about defense today,” Jones said. “We got more boards than them and put the ball in the basket. We made our free throws when we needed to.”
Jones said that it was kind of hard to come into HP’s gym with their fans but “you have to keep your cool.”
“When we were waiting on the sectional seedings, this is one of those matchups that kind of scared us,” HP head coach Kirk Smith said.
“They (Oneida) had struggled early in the season, but they got hot at the end. They were just the better team tonight.”