Dec 21, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A couple of episodes during the Oneida boys basketball team’s 61-54 victory at Vernon-Verona-Sherill’s “Pit” last Saturday night illustrates the kind of toughness and winning mentality Ryan Kramer brings to the Indians’ side.
Early in the second quarter, Kramer’s 3-pointer sailed way over the net, an air ball, and the VVS students let him know about it. Seconds later, Kramer took another shot from beyond the arc — and swished it.
And when the Red Devils threatened in the fourth quarter, Kramer calmly took the ball and scored on three consecutive Oneida possessions, giving the visitors the cushion it would need to prevail in its most intense rivalry.
To some degree, Kramer was the reason they were playing late in December. Oneida and VVS were originally set to square off Dec. 5, but the game got moved back two weeks due to the Indians’ football run to the state Class B finals, which didn’t end until Nov. 30 — and where Kramer served as quarterback and team captain.
By the time they got together, VVS was 7-1, sparkling on the defensive side and leaning on Evan Croll’s formidable scoring skills on the offensive side. Yet from the start of this latest chapter with Oneida, the Red Devils were in trouble.
VVS didn’t score until midway through the first quarter, a drought of nearly four minutes. It didn’t let the Indians get away, thanks to slowing the game’s tempo down, but it would not have a single lead all night, either.
With Kramer getting 12 first-half points, Oneida’s lead grew as large as 13 in the second quarter, and it went to halftime 28-20, the Red Devils fortunate to keep it that tight.
Almost by himself, Croll ignited the Red Devils’ push in the third quarter, scoring 12 points in that frame alone and cutting the deficit to two, 28-26, early in the period before Oneida regained command.
Of Croll’s 27 points, though, only two came in the last seven-plus minutes, and center Adam Kemp (11 points) didn’t do enough to make up for the Red Devils’ lack of depth.
Meanwhile, with the score 50-44 and less than four minutes left, Kramer ignited one more Oneida push with a spectacular reverse lay-up. He added two more baskets in the next 90 seconds to build the lead back to 56-46 and give Kramer 23 points for the night. That would prove to be enough.
Much of Kramer’s help came from Justin Didio, who finished with 14 points. David Cieri added eight points, with Brandon Miles picking up six points.
VVS would try and recover from the Oneida defeat during its own tournament on Friday and Saturday, while the Indians meet a tough Class A foe in Fowler on Saturday.