ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Oneonta girls basketball team is heading back to states, thanks to their overpowering defense, which shut down South Jefferson in the regionals. The Lady Yellow Jackets didn't allow a single point over the last few minutes.
Katie Bredin hit the go ahead three pointer in Saturday's big win. In fact, she's hit the deciding shot in each of the last two Oneonta wins. "We were really happy, we worked hard all week so we were all ecstatic to beat them. they were really good," said the senior guard.
Their defense is similar to the Syracuse 2-3 zone, and is just as effective. "We work on it every day in practice. that's our key to the entire year. we knew if we played good defense then we can stay in games and if we don't, then there's a good chance we're going to lose," says junior guard Sieena Wisse.
"A lot of teams play 2-3 zone and just stand around. we try to be active, make sure we get out to shooters, double down inside on their big people and that worked well against South Jeff," said head coach Bob Zeh.
"We do slides everyday in practice, we always try to stay in passing lanes and get our hands on as many balls as we can even if we can deflect it out of bounds, do anything to try and stop them from scoring," added senior guard Leslie Harlem.
The victory over South Jefferson earned the Lady Yellow Jackets a trip to the state final four. They'll play Watervliet Friday at 11:45 a.m. at Hudson Valley CC in Troy, where they'll have plenty of support.
Senior center Val Ridgway loves how much attention the girls get from the fans. "I'm not going to lie, all of us on this team are celebrities in Oneonta, it's phenomenal the support we receive from the community, driving out to the sectional finals... all of their signs saying Go Lady Yellow Jackets."
Adds junior guard Erin Wolstenholme, "This town is amazing. on saturday, hartwick was packed. the crowd was so loud, the community is so supporting of us."
Most of these girls were here last year, when the Lady Yellow Jackets were undefeated heading into the state championship. But they fell just short of winning the title, so this time Bredin and her teammates are hoping for a different outcome. "It would be great, especially my senior year to go out winning states. we all want it, hopefully we can get there.
If they beat Watervliet, the Lady Yellow Jackets would advance to the Class B Championship on Saturday at 4 p.m.