By Riley Peru, Staff Writer
On Wednesday, November 8th both the Oneonta men’s and women’s basketball teams played against hometown rival Hartwick in the battle of the hills. The women played at five thirty, while the men played at seven-thirty. This is the first and last time Oneonta will be playing Hartwick for the 2023-2024 season. These games are both teams’ season openers, and with this display, we can expect more victories to come.
Starting off with the women’s basketball program, in an extremely competitive matchup, both teams fought till the last seconds of the game. Hartwick was quick to put up points, scoring the first basket of the game. But the Red Dragons were quick to counter, running the score back up and taking the lead from the Hawks. In a constant back and forth, the Red Dragons ended the half with a 27-22 lead over the Hawks.
Resuming the match after halftime, Oneonta hit the ground running. Sophomore Amanda Zuntag led the team in scoring with a total of twenty-four points, followed by Senior Molly Stephens and Junior Nadia Brown, each putting up nine points. While on the Hartwick side, Senior Isabella Astorino put up a total of sixteen points, followed closely by fellow Senior Sareena Dicerbo with her thirteen points. Hartwick did have a rally going on for a bit, closing the gap and leaving the Red Dragons with only a two-point lead. This didn’t stunt the Oneonta offense, and the Red Dragons pulled through with a ten-point win against a fierce competitor. The Red Dragons started off their season with a win, 65-55.
Following the women’s match was the men’s match. In a highly anticipated matchup, the whistle blew, and both teams were ready to go. Oneonta had a slower start, but once they got going, they never backed down. Constant pressure from the Red Dragons’ offense resulted in an early lead that the Hawks couldn’t come back from. At the end of the first half, the score was 44-21.
Once the second half began, the Red Dragons picked up right where they left off. Sophomore Javen Flowers-Smith put up a total of twenty-three points, the majority of which were scored from outside the arch. Junior Xavier Hill also contributed a total of fifteen points, followed by Junior Caleb Brown and Senior Graham Wooden who put up eight points each. Hartwick also had some opportunities, with Sophomores Jaden Carter and Jeremiah Boateng leading the team in points, scoring a total of seven each. They were followed by Junior Tarrell Cumberbatch and Sophomore Alex Klybas both scoring five points each. The men’s program also started off their season with a win, 91-53.
The men’s team will go on to play at LeHigh against the Mountain Hawks at seven p.m. on Thursday, November 16th. The women’s team will host the Skidmore Thoroughbreds on Tuesday, November 14th at six-thirty p.m. These events will be live-streamed, and the women’s basketball game admission is free at Dewar Stadium in Alumni Field House.