Now with the cast all in place, the Oneida boys basketball team set out to place itself among the better teams in the Tri-Valley League.
The Indians certainly were impressive during last Tuesday night's home opener against Clinton, playing ferocious defense to shut down the Warriors in a 60-42 victory.
Though off to a 2-1 start, Clinton caught Oneida just as players like Ryan Kramer, Joe McCormick and Brandon Miles were merging into the lineup, their football obligations complete.
Fired up by the home crowd, the Indians bolted to a 20-8 first-quarter lead, then matched everything the Warriors tried to do in the next two periods. For good measure, Oneida held Clinton to just six points in the final period.
Justin Didio, with 16 points, and Kramer, with 15 points, accounted for half the Indians' offense. Nick Dreimiller had eight points and David Cieri added seven points. Matt Tamburro got six points as Miles and McCormick put up four points apiece.
When bad weather forced a postponement of Friday's game against Camden, the Indians looked ahead to Saturday's non-league test against Rome Free Academy.
They had reason to feel confident, too. Nearly reaching the century mark thanks to an explosive and deep attack, Oneida flattened the Black Knights 96-68.
Setting a rapid pace early, the Indians sprinted out to a 27-17 edge by the end of the first quarter and maintained that comfortable margin the rest of the half.
Not content with that, though, Oneida buried RFA with a 29-13 domination of the third quarter, and kept on producing all the way to the end. Remarkably, all 13 players that saw action got at least one field goal.
At the head of this train, Didio finished with 17 points. Kramer and Dreimiller were close behind, earning 14 points apiece, and Cieri (11 points) also broke into double figures. Tamburro had eight points as McCormick and AndrewHornyak got six points apiece.
A tough week lies ahead, for Oneida, as it will battle Utica-Notre Dame on Tuesday and go to Holland Patent Friday before making up the postponed Dec. 5 battle with archrival Vernon-Verona-Sherrill on Saturday night.