Oneida boys make strong show­ing

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By John Brewer [email protected]­dadis­

Fol­low­ing a tough loss to CVA, Oneida held Ver­non-Verona-Sher­rill at bay, ral­ly­ing for the TVL win.

ONEIDA, N.Y. >> Fol­low­ing a tough loss to CVA on Tues­day, Oneida head coach Jeff Didio said he’d like to see an im­prove­ment on de­fense as the sea­son pro­gresses. Mes­sage re­ceived. Oneida held Ver­non-Verona-Sher­rill to six points in the de­cid­ing fourth quar­ter of Fri­day’s Tri-Val­ley League Pi­o­neer Di­vi­sion show­down, ral­ly­ing for a 50-44 victory.

“I thought our com­po­sure the en­tire fourth quar­ter was the dif­fer­ence in the game tonight. We re­ally only had one bad turnover late, but we ran some good sets and ex­e­cuted,” Didio said. “That was the big dif­fer­ence...De­fen­sively, we can stay in games if we hold teams in the 40’s and 50’s. That was the main ob­jec­tive dur­ing the week, and I’m glad it car­ried over.”

Ju­nior for­ward Ja­cob Vac­caro net­ted 14 points to lead the Oneida at­tack. Fel­low big man and ju­nior Ben Wright was right be­hind Vac­caro with 12 points.

“It’s just the ri­valry, you know. Just play­ing against them...our crowd and the play­ers over there...I love it. On game day, I just get a dif­fer­ent feel­ing and it brings the best out of me,” Wright said of play­ing VVS. “Get­ting the re­bounds and then put­ting them back up. That was def­i­nitely huge.”

“I wish I could bot­tle that for Ben,” Didio quipped.

VVS ju­nior Bai­ley Janowski led all scor­ers with 19 points in the de­feat, drop­ping 15 points in a mon­ster third quar­ter.

“He’s a great player. One of the best in the league. We tried to dou­ble him ev­ery time he touched the ball. He is so big and strong and his knowl­edge of the game is ter­rific. But com­pli­ment our bigs, and our guards pinned down. I thought our bigs played out­stand­ing [de­fense on Janowski],” Didio


“You re­ally have to mus­cle him in there. Get­ting boards, you re­ally had to make sure you boxed out on him no mat­ter what,” Vac­caro added of de­fend­ing Janowski be­fore touch­ing on the ri­valry. “[The win] feels great. It was our first one in a long time, and I’m glad it was over VVS.”

Af­ter a rel­a­tively slug­gish first quar­ter, Oneida opened the sec­ond with a 10-6 lead, but VVS erased the gap quickly in the first cou­ple min­utes of the frame courtesy of back-to-back 3-point­ers by Troy Suther­land. With VVS up 12-10, the two ri­vals be­gan to pick up the pace on of­fense.

Wright hauled down an of­fen­sive re­bound and scored on a put­back. Jor­dan Clark fol­lowed with a put­back of his own to give Oneida a 14-12 lead. Phoenix Wey­dig net­ted VVS’ next hoop, but Wright again had the an­swer for Oneida. A Janowski and-1 fol­lowed by a Wey­dig 3-ball in the fi­nal three min­utes of the sec­ond put VVS up 20-16, but the see-saw af­fair con­tin­ued when Wright and Vinny Leibl scored on con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions for Oneida to tie things up at 20-20. SamDon- nelly drained a shot from be­yond the arc to close out the quar­ter and give VVS a 2320 lead head­ing into the half.

Janowski ab­so­lutely dom­i­nated the third, outscor­ing the en­tire Oneida team 1514. The VVS ju­nior started out with a pair of makes from the free throw line. Af­ter Wright found the bot­tom of the net on a base­line jumper, Janowski crashed the of­fen­sive glass for a put­back on his next bas­ket, adding a gimme in the paint mo­ments later.

Vac­caro buried a 3-ball from the top of the cir­cle to stem the tide, but Janowski re­sponded with a pair of made free throws. Vac­caro an­swered with a coast-to­coast lay-in. Leibl added an­other hoop for Oneida, but Janowski made his way to the free throw line again, sink­ing a pair to push the VVS lead to 33-29.

A Vac­caro jumper pulled Oneida within two points and prompted a VVS time- out, but out of the stop­page, Janowski went right back to work, scor­ing the five straight points to give the vis­i­tors a 38-31 lead with time wind­ing down in the third. Oneida re­ceived a huge lift to close the frame when Clark grabbed an of­fen­sive re­bound, kicked the ball out to Leibl, and then, drained a 3-ball to close the pe­riod with VVS lead­ing 3834.

Turnovers doomed the Red Devils in the fi­nal quar­ter of play.

“We had the game. We were up head­ing into the fourth quar­ter, and we get down to the end of the game and make dumb turnovers. It was our in­ex­pe­ri­ence. Four in a row. Those kill you, es­pe­cially with the game on the line,” VVS head coach Andy Cos­sette said. “I’m happy with our ef­fort. We gave ev­ery­thing we had. We just didn’t ex­e­cute in the clutch in the end.”

Less than two min­utes into the fourth, Janowski split a pair of free throws at the line to put up VVS 41-36 be­fore Oneida made its run. Vac­caro slashed through the lane for quick score, and Ty D’Ar­can­ge­lis forced a Red Devil turnover on the other end on the sub­se­quent vis­tor pos­ses­sion. Vac­caro con­verted that turnover into a 3-pointer on an as­sist from Leibl to knot things up at 41-41 with less than four min­utes left in the con­test.

Oneida cap­i­tal­ized on an­other Red Devil turnover mo­ments later when Vac­caro found Wright in the paint for two. Af­ter a VVS time- out, the two ri­vals traded turnovers be­fore Vac­caro knocked down a pair at the line for a 45-41 Oneida lead with 2:15 on the clock.

Af­ter empty pos­ses­sions by both teams, VVS was able to cap­i­tal­ize on an Oneida turnover, trans­lat­ing that into a huge 3-point make by Ja­cob Horod­nick to pull within a point at 45-44. Oneida, how­ever, was able to ice the game from the char­ity stripe as Will Mer­rell and Clark went a com­bined 5-of-6 in the wan­ing sec­onds of the con­test to seal a 5044 win.

“We were on a five game skid. I think this win against VVS is huge. It’ll give us a huge boost. We have Clin­ton Wed­nes­day and Hol­land Patent on Sat­ur­day, so I think it will def­i­nitely do some­thing good for our team,” Wright said.

Oneida se­nior Vinny Leibl and VVS ju­nior Bai­ley Janowski fight for con­trol of a loose ball dur­ing TVL Pi­o­neer Di­vi­sion play on Jan. 11.


Oneida ju­nior Ja­cob Vac­caro looks for an in­bounds pass with VVS se­nior Ja­cob Horod­nick de­fend­ing dur­ing Fri­day’s TVL Pi­o­neer matchup.


VVS’ Sam Don­nelly looks to make an en­try pass dur­ing the first half of ac­tion against Oneida on Fri­day, Jan. 11.

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