Whatever the records, any contest between Vernon Verona Sherrill and Oneida is bound to be intense -- and girls basketball proved no exception.
By doing just enough down the stretch, the Red Devils beat the Indians, 45-42, Monday night and improved its record to 2-4, keeping Oneida winless in the process.
Having just broken its own opening skid by beating Holland Patent on Dec. 11, VVS knew that Oneida, despite its early struggles, had made every opponent work hard.
Sure enough, the Red Devils and Indians played through a 13-13 first quarter. It remained tight in the second period, but getting inside baskets from Codie Bayeur-Clarke and Leanne Doolen, VVS sneaked out in front, 27-24, before the break.
The defenses tightened in the third quarter, especially that of the Indians. Down 30-25, it shut down VVS for a while as it reeled off eight unanswered points (capped by Jenna Didio's steal and layup) and seized a 33-30 lead, forcing Red Devils coach Randy Thomas to use a timeout.
Properly settled, VVS got a key basket from Tracee Scheibel (her only field goal of the night) and free throws from Bayeur-Clarke to reclaim the lead just before the period ended.
Oneida briefly tied it in the fourth quarter, only to have the Red Devils go to the front and stay there, despite the Indians not allowing a field goal in the last five minutes of regulation.
This shutdown had Oneida within one, 43-42, before Bayeur-Clarke sank a pair of key free throws with 17.4 seconds left. The Indians could not respond.
Overall, Bayeur-Clarke had 15 points, while Erin Curtis got 10 points. Doolen had nine points, with Megan Reed adding eight points. Oneida saw Erika Williams lead with eight points as Morgan Murawski (seven points) and Didio (six points) closely followed.