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Indians battle through transition, start 1-1

Even as Oneida's football team was busy producing a glorious run to the state Class B championship game, the boys varsity basketball team was hard at work, practicing for its upcoming season.

This only proved to be a concern because the Indians' leading returning scorer, Ryan Kramer, was busy serving as the football team's quarterback and driving force as it got all the way to the Carrier Dome before falling to Rye 16-12 in that state final on Nov. 30.

Clearly, Kramer would need some time to rest and recuperate before hitting the basketball court -- but as it turned out, it didn't take too long.

Without him, Oneida went Wednesday to the opening round of the Norwich Tournament and took a 72-56 loss to Oxford.

Gradually, Oxford built a 36-28 halftime advantage. Though the Indians cut into that margin, Oxford would answer with a 21-10 run to close the game.

David Cieri, in defeat, led four Oneida players that scored in double figures, finishing with 18 points. Justin Didio and Matt Tamburro each had 12 points, while Nick Dreimiller had 10 points.

Oneida did catch a break when archrival Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, already 3-0 on the season, decided to push its home game against the Indians from last Friday until Dec. 20, switching in its place a game against Herkimer (which it won, 73-57).

Meanwhile, when Oneida returned to Norwich for Saturday's consolation game against Sidney, Kramer was back -- and he helped the Indians to a 74-69 victory.

Less than a week removed from football, Kramer would show few ill effects. Instead, in a tight contest, he and his Oneida teammates played a strong fourth quarter, outscoring Sidney 24-15 to erase a 54-50 deficit.

For the night, Kramer had 18 points, just ahead of Dreimiller, whose 17 points included a trio of 3-pointers. Cieri, with 11 points, also broke into double figures. Didio had nine points, with Tamburro adding eight points and Hornyak getting seven points.

At full strength now, Oneida kicks off a stretch of four straight home games Tuesday with a visit from Clinton before Camden arrives on Friday night.

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