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Basketball is a tournament sport and every team hopes to peak at just the right time.
The Oliver Springs Bobcats might just being doing that as Friday night Tony Ingram’s squad won their third straight game with a 65-50 victory over regular season District 4-A champion Oneida.
All three wins came last week and proved huge as they vaulted the Bobcats into fourth place in the district standings. Placing fourth means the Bobcats will open District 4-A Tournament play at home Thursday night at 7 p.m. against No. 5 seed Wartburg.
The Bobcats used a balanced attack Friday night to knock off the Indians as four players scored in double figures. Aaron Noe (14 points, 9 rebounds) led the quartet with Taylor Murray (13 points, 7 rebounds), Shelby Morgan (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Collin Moss (12 points, 5 rebounds) following close behind.
Oliver Springs started strong Friday night as Moss buried two 3-pointers and Justin Nation added a third in giving the Bobcats a quick 9-0 lead.
Oneida, however, answered with a 14-3 run to take a 2-point lead before the Bobcats scored the final five points of the frame to make the score 17-14.
The second period didn’t feature any runs, but rather would see four lead changes and two ties before the Bobcats took a 33-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Murray had a big second quarter for Oliver Springs with six points.
Things remained tight for the first five minutes of the third period with the Indians holding a 40-39 lead, but that’s when Oliver Springs started to pull away. The Bobcats scored the final eight points of the third period and first four points of the fourth quarter to take a 51-40 lead.
Oneida never got closer than nine points down the stretch as Oliver Springs pulled away for the 15-point victory.
Morgan and Noe paced the Bobcats with six points each in the fourth quarter.
Josh Sharp (14 points) and Cole West (13 points) led the way for Oneida in the loss.
Oneida receives a first round tournament bye and will play the winner of Thursday’s contest between Wartburg and Oliver Springs in Saturday’s District 4-A Tournament semifinals.
Oliver Springs (65) Moss 12, Noe 14, Murray 13, S. Morgan 13, Nation 3, Evans 3, Miller 5, B. Morgan 2.