Oneonta High’s girls watched a 17-point fourth-quarter lead shrink to five points before beating host Kingston, 48-41, Saturday in a non-league basketball game.
Senior Mariah Ruff scored a game-high 25 points for the Yellowjackets, who received 10 points from Brittney Herrick.
OHS (10-1) led, 19-9, after one quarter. Ruff had nine points in the first quarter and nine more in the second as the Yellowjackets built a 33-21 lead. Herrick scored all of her points before halftime.
“She really has been playing well,” OHS coach Matt Miller said of Herrick, who also grabbed 12 rebounds. “Mariah’s been a consistent all season as a scorer, but that second scorer has kind of been by committee. The last two games, Brittney has stepped into that role.”
Ruff hit three three-pointers in the first half, three two-pointers and three free throws in the first half.
“As a scorer, she mixed it up,” Miller said of Ruff, who contributed five steals. “Sometimes, she can fall in love with the three-pointer, but she’s making sure the (other team’s) defense works. She’s driving more and because of that, she’s getting to the free throw line more. That’s why her scoring has increased this season – she’s getting more easy baskets from the free throw line and by scoring inside.”
OHS took a 46-29 lead in the fourth quarter before Kingston answered with a 10-1 run.
Miller estimated his team missed 10 layups over the final five minutes, which he said contributed to an “ugly finish.”
Still, Miller said this year’s version of the Yellowjackets might be the best defensive team he’s had in his four years at the helm.
“I’ve been really impressed with this team defensively,” he said. “We have that potential because we’re so athletic to play really good defense. We did that last week against Troy (a 53-42 loss) and we did that against Kingston. If we keep playing defense like we have been, we have a good chance to play with anybody.”