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Oneida boys beat Camden, clinch league title

On a Friday night full of local high school boys basketball action, Oneida's boys achieved something special.

The Indians went to Camden and beat the Blue Devils 56-45, clinching the Tri-Valley League West division championship in the process.

It wasn't too easy, though. Camden, despite a 2-12 record, hung right with Oneida in the first half thanks to Alex Van Pelt, who put up 17 of his team's 25 points, mostly from making nine of 12 free throws.

Still, the Indians were up 29-25 at the break, and to keep Van Pelt from causing more damage, Oneida head coach Jeff Didio put guard Keith Johnson on him as part of a box-and-one defense.

It worked. Van Pelt only had five points after the break as the deeper, more balanced Indians briefly trailed 32-31 early in the third quarter, then reclaimed the lead with a 7-0 run, capped by Trey Didio's 3-pointer.

Steadily, Oneida got away in the fourth quarter as, by game's end, all 10 players that saw action got at least one point. Matt Tamburro led with 12 points, while Andrew Hornyak had nine points, Benn DeRocker eight points and Evan Watson seven points.

As this went on, Vernon Verona Sherrill's rough season continued at Holland Patent with a 61-54 loss to the Golden Knights.

For three periods, the two sides continually swapped the lead, neither able to make a sustained run. But HP outscored VVS 20-14 in the fourth quarter to get away.

In defeat, Nick Rizzo led the Red Devils with 22 points. None of his teammates reached double figures, though, as Jason Dalton and Nick Eaton each got six points. HP's Alex Smith had a big night, earning 26 points.

The VVS girls team finally won a home came on Friday, squeezing out a 44-42 win over Holland Patent.

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