Oneida's boys basketball team had a close call on Friday night, but still held on for a 60-59 victory over the Clinton Warriors.
Coming off a loss to Utica-Notre Dame early in the weeek, the Indians found that a return to winning form would not be so simple.
Down 19-16 after one period, the Indians tied it, 30-30, at halftime, then traded the lead with Clinton the rest of the night, only inching in front for good late in the fourth quarter.
Still, ahead 60-57, the Indians had to go through all kinds of late-game stress. With nine seconds left, Clinton's Rich Maxam converted a leaning jumper and got fouled.
Maxam's tying free throw was off the mark, and in the scramble, the ball got tied up, the Warriors owning the arrow. Jon Antonsson's corner jumper to put Clinton ahead bounced off the rim, and despite missed free throws, the Indians would hang on.
Matt Tamburro led with 15 points, while Trey Didio and Benn DeRocker each had 11 points, including some key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Andrew Hornyak had seven points and Evan Watson contributed six points.
For Clinton, Steve Bankert had 18 points (15 of them in the second half), with Maxam (14 points) and Antonnson (13 points) close behind.
This came a day after Vernon Verona Sherrill took a 5-56 loss to New Hartford, the second defeat to the Spartans in as many weeks -- and both of them at home, no less.
Neither side had a sustained run in the first half, and the Red Devils only trailed 26-23 at the break. New Hartford built the margin to double digits in the third quarter, though, and while VVS made a pair of pushes and got it back to six points, the Spartans would stay in control.
Nick Rizzo finished with 14 points, just ahead of Simon Pitman (13 points) and Joe Spinella, who had 10 points. Mitch Iseneker (eight points) and Isaac Pitman (seven points) also had solid showings. For the Spartans (who improved to 7-3), Derek German had 18 points, with Ammar Kaashmiri and Calvin Floyd picking up 13 points apiece.
Oneida, also 7-3, plays New Hartford Tuesday and then hosts the Alliance Bank Tournament this weekend. VVS has back-to-back weekend games at Whitesboro and Fayetteville-Manlius.