The Oneida girls basketball team got a second shot at Class B power Westhill on Monday night, taking a serious upset bid into the fourth quarter before a series of late turnovers led to a 50-35 defeat.
The final margin in no way reflected how well the Indians played. To counter Westhill's highly-rated backcourt tandem of Emily Haggerty and Anna Ross, Oneida head coach Katie Kramer used a triangle-and-two defense, so that Haggerty and Ross could always be shadowed.
It worked to near-perfection in the first quarter as Oneida seized an 11-7 lead, and though Westhill inched in front 19-18 by halftime, the Indians were not getting rattled by the Warriors' full-court pressure.
They stayed on even terms in the third period, too, and at one point early in the fourth quarter Oneida owned a small lead -- and this was a 1-13 team ahead of an 11-2 opponent.
At just that moment, though, the Indians started turning the ball over with regularity. Westhill had changed its defensive look, picking up pressure before Oneida crossed mid-court, and the adjustment threw the hosts off -- leading to 12 turnovers in those last six minutes.
That was far too many mistakes, as Westhill turned them into baskets and closed on a 20-6 run as Haggerty finished with 17 points and Kayla Stirpe added 11 points. Both Stirpe and Kathryn Christensen (10 point) helped make up for the fact that Ross had just five points.
On Oneida's side, each of the 10 players that saw action got at least two points, but none had more than Morgan Murawski's modest total of seven points as Nicole Shene got six points. Jenna Didio added five points.