Oneonta’s timely threes and Good Hope’s mistakes are ultimately the difference in the 4A Area 11 championship as the Redskins win over the Raiders 73-60.
Often times in this rivalry Oneonta jumps out to a quick lead that then jumpstarts great play by Good Hope and typically we get instinct classics. Tonight Oneonta did the first part, but despite a once fourteen point lead being cut to six with minutes to play Oneonta responded with a run that sealed the deal.
The Raiders fell behind early 19-9 but were able to use their defense to hold Oneonta to just five points over a near six minute span in the first and second period. Tanner Malin scored 9 in the first and Noah Barnette chipped in another 8, but a fury of baskets to end the half put the Redskins on top 37-27.
Malin picked up an early foul in the third that sent him to the bench and the Raiders offense was never able to get going as Oneonta pushed their lead to 12 heading into the fourth.
Between Tyler Cone and Kmal Bell both getting hot and defense forcing turnovers Good Hope was able to cut the lead to just six with the ball in their hands. The tape will hurt in this one because the turnovers and missed looks at the rim ultimately was the difference.
Oneonta held on, using free throws to finish the game on top 73-60. Malin finished with 15, Barnette with 10, and Colton Lindsey added 9.
The 12 game win streak, dating back to January 8th comes an end, but I jokingly thought to myself last week, “Maybe they need to lose so they don’t come in too hot?”
Of course the Raiders would rather win area and host sub-regionals for one more home game, against a lesser Hamilton, but if there is one thing you saw in this teams eye after tonight’s loss it’s “fire.” It almost felt like disgust because they understand the mistakes and they know they didn’t play their best ball.
Next week now they will travel to face 4A Area 12 winner Haleyville (22-7)on the road with a trip to Wallace on the line. If this team has learned anything this season it’s they know how to handle adversity. Coach Adams put them through a gauntlet non conference this year for this very reason. This group has played tough competition all season and they’re ready for battle.