ONEONTA — It didn’t take long for Oneonta High to make a point Wednesday night.
Forty-eight seconds, to be exact.
And the Yellowjackets actually had six points by then.
“He wanted us to get a fast start on them and he said once we got a few points not to let up,” OHS senior guard Mariah Ruff said of coach Matt Miller’s press-first, ask-questions-later game plan, which set the stage for a 60-41 Southern Tier Athletic Conference girls basketball rout of the Saints.
“I think we did that very well,” continued Ruff, who hit one field goal after the first quarter but still finished with a game-high 17 points. “Our game this year is probably running. We’re a really athletic team. So, yeah, that was kind of the game plan.”
The Jackets were up and running seconds after Brittney Herrick won the tip. Ruff started with a missed three-point field goal attempt, but Maria DiMartin made a reverse layup off the rebound as defending Section Four Class B and STAC champion OHS (7-0, 6-0) took the lead for keeps in the opening seconds.
Oneonta then unveiled a full-court press that resulted in back-to-back transition baskets — by Ruff and DiMartin, respectively — off of steals for a 6-0 lead, prompting Seton coach Colleen Jayne to call for time after 48 seconds.
“Seton makes you play at a pace that we didn’t really want to play at tonight,” said Miller, whose team forced 20 turnovers — mostly off its skin-tight press — in the first half. “Nobody ever wants to play at that pace. They’re just in your face the entire game, they put pressure on you and they take risks. It was definitely like a ping-pong match tonight.”
OHS finished the first quarter ahead, 15-5, and closed the second period on a 6-0 run for a 33-17 advantage at halftime.