The Oran High School boys basketball team started slowly last night but picked up steam as the game progressed and defeated the #5 seed Valle Catholic Warriors 72-43 to advance to Thursday evening's championship game of the Class 2, District 2 tournament at the Perry Park Center in Perryville.
Early on the Eagles couldn't buy a bucket and fell behind 4-0. The rest of the quarter would see each team go on runs. Oran took the lead 7-4 before the Warriors scored the next 8 points but the Eagles tallied the final 6 of the period to take a 13-12 lead into frame 2.
Layne Johnson hit a 3 to open the second, but Oran still couldn't pull away. With about 3 minutes gone the Eagles were up 22-21 and Head Coach Joe Shoemaker called a timeout. From that point on, into the halftime locker room, Oran went on a 15-3 run and was never seriously challenged again.
The Eagles, the number one seed, enjoyed the benefits of a running clock through most of the 4th quarter.
Coach Shoemaker said, "We came out slow and overall we gave up too many easy baskets in transition. The boys responded and got into a better rhythm offensively as the game went on. I thought we did a good job on their two leading scorers holding them to a combined 10 points. The rule this time of the year is to survive and advance to the next round and we did that."
Jacob Shoemaker led all scorers with 27, a season-high. He nailed 2 from beyond the arc. Max Priggel had 16 points, including 1 trey and was 9-10 from the line. Layne Johnson hit 3 from long-range as part of his 12.
Todd Priggel hit a three-pointer and finish wth 7 total points. Drew Reischman added 5, Landon Stanberry hit a trey off the bench and Cole Priggel chipped a field goal to round out the scoring.
Wyatt Kinney, Luke Barnes, Denver Elfrink and Peyton Mcvay played but did not score.
Oran hit a total of 8 three-pointers and was 16 of 24 from the free throw line for 67%.
The Eagles are now 18-8 and will take on Scott City at 7:30 pm on Thursday. The boys are looking for their first district title in 4 years.
At 6 pm on Thursday, the girls will look to claim their fourth straight crown when they take on Chaffee.
It will be an all Scott-Miss district championship night.