Right before Christmas, the Oneida girls basketball team got an early present.
Playing as well as it has all season, the 2-5 Indians stayed right with 5-2 New Hartford, then made all the shots down the stretch to upset the Spartans, 67-54.
For three quarters, the two sides were fairly even, but Oneida nudged into a 43-41 lead. It kept that lead throughout the final period, relying on all of its key players to sink free throws -- which they did.
In all, four Indian players reached double figres. Emma Adams led them, with 20 points, with Kristin Kinney draining four 3-point field goals to account for most of her 15 points, a career high.
Becky Adams threw in 11 points, with Ashley Merrill close behind as she got 10 points. Alana White added seven points. In defeat, the Spartans got 18 points from Dominique Carcone and 14 points from Maddie Boyle.
At home to face Whitesboro last Monday night, the Indians were in it much of the way, yet still took a 62-45 loss to the Warriors.
Oneida started nicely and led 13-11 through the first quarter, but Whitesboro went up in the second quarter. To pull away in the late going, the Warriors outscored the Indians 21-11 in the final period.
Eamma Adams led her side with 14 points, eight of them successful free throws. Nicole Ano had 11 points, while Becky Adams gained eight points. Lauren Penc and Elizabeth Gadziala, with 12 points apiece, led a balanced Whitesboro attack.
The New Hartford win gave the Indians a great feeling as it went into a two-week rest period. Oneida will return to action Jan. 4 against rival Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.