Tellico Plains battled in a back and forth affair with Oneida’s Lady Indians on Monday night in the Region 2A semifinals, and held a lead in the final seconds, but a 3-pointer by Oneida’s Kyndal West with 19 seconds remaining proved to be the difference, as the Lady Indians took a 49-48 thriller over the Lady Bears.
Harley Boyett got the Lady Indians going in the first with four quick points out of the gate before a foul on a 3-point attempt sent Samantha Russell to the free throw line, where she converted all three attempts. Russell followed that trip up with a made 3-pointer and Chloe Yearwood added a layup as the Lady Bears took the lead. A free throw and a layup from Chloe Terry helped the Lady Indians cut into the lead, and after one quarter, the Lady Bears advantage was trimmed to 8-7.
A Terry 3-pointer briefly put Oneida in the lead to start the second, but Kori Hamilton replied with two treys and Jaden Hollinghead added a free throw to put Tellico Plains up 15-10. Russell added a 3-pointer to extend the advantage before a 11-0 run for the Lady Indians erased all the Lady Bears’ progress. Katelyn Stiltner was a big part of Oneida’s surge, scoring a layup and four free throws, and West added her first 3-pointer as the Lady Indians raced out to a 23-18 lead. Russell sank a 3-pointer to end the run, but Stiltner responded with a jumper to maintain the Lady Indians’ lead. At the half, Oneida held on to a 25-21 advantage.
Stiltner and Boyett came out of the halftime break with new energy and combined for three buckets to put Oneida ahead by eight. Yearwood and Russell stopped the run with 3-pointers and Joell Stinnett added a layup to give the Lady Bears some momentum. A Yearwood 3-point play cut the lead down to just one, but five straight points from Logan Lamb kept Oneida ahead after three, 40-37.
The Lady Bears opened the fourth quarter on a run. Yearwood notched a steal and the score and Russell added a jumper before three fouls in a row sent the Lady Bears to the free throw stripe. Yearwood sank two free throws and Hamilton sank three to push the Lady Bears to a 46-40 lead with time dwindling in the fourth quarter. West sliced the deficit in half for Oneida with a trey and Stiltner added a layup moments later to tie the score at 46. A jumper by Hamilton gave Tellico Plains a 2-point advantage with under 30 seconds to play, but with 19 seconds left, West hit another triple for Oneida to give the Lady Indians the decisive lead. An attempt to answer on the other end by Russell was off the mark, and though Yearwood collected the rebound, the Lady Bears could not convert a basket to take the lead, and fell by one point to end their remarkable season.
Russell and Yearwood led Tellico Plains with 17 each and Hamilton added 11. Stiltner led Oneida with 14 and West and Boyett added 10 apiece.