The Oneida boys basketball team won the Alliance Bank Shootout last Sunday with one star playing through pain and another adding a great day at the free-throw line.
Oneida's effort earned them a 70-61 win over Voorheesville, a win which not only earned them their first tournament trophy in five years but also added momentum to what had been an up-and-down season.
"The win was big for us," said Oneida head coach Jeff Didio. "It's our third win in a row (Oneida had beaten Camden before the tournament) and now we're at 7-8. This will help us get a good start to the rest of the season."
Guard Ryan Kramer set the game's tone early. After drawing a foul and hitting two shots after driving for a lay-up against Voorheesville's big men (center Evan Christner and forward Ethan Mackey), he had a steal and had the ball given back to him for a 3-point shot.
Teamwork was key to the win. Guard Joe McCormick added quality minutes while Kramer played through pain. Kramer, who scored his 1,000th career point in the win over Camden, had re-aggravated a pectoral muscle injury suffered last spring playing baseball.
While the injury was not a major factor in Kramer's statistics (20 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals) he was limited to six-of-16 shooting (including three-of-six from 3-point range and four-of-nine from the foul line). McCormick's play in key spurts helped Oneida secure the win.
Christner came alive in the second period. After blocking a Kramer shot the senior added two quick baskets (he would have 12 points and two rebounds total in the period), McCormick answered with eight points while Kramer hit only one of four shots in the period
When Christner cut Oneida's lead to 62-57 late in the game McCormick added a steal, grabbed a loose ball and made a key basket to help preserve the win.