The Oran Lady Eagles basketball teams advanced to the championship games of the Scott-Mississippi Conference tournaments last night at Scott City. The top-seeded junior varsity defeated Kelly 51-27 while the number-one seeded varsity pulled away in the second half to turn back Charleston 77-59.
In the opener, the Eagles raced out to an 11-1 first quarter lead. It was 20-12 at the half. Oran, who had only five players dressed for the contest, expanded the lead in the third and fourth quarters to pick up the 24 point victory over the #4 seed Kelly squad.
Coach Ethan Evans said, "I thought we played a good 1st and 4th quarters. Our defense and rebounding were pretty good except for the 2nd quarter. With only 5 people the girls did a good job of not picking up fouls."
Mallory Lowes finished with 23 points to lead all scorers. Heather Gosche tossed in 12 while, Savannah Below had 10 points.
Alyssa (Stone) Spane had six to round out the scoring.
Oran hit 9 of 17 from the line for 53%.
The younger Eagles are now 3-0 and will look to repeat as champions tonight at 7 pm.
They will face number-three Chaffee, who upset second-seeded East Prairie 35-14 last night.
Immediately following the junior varsity, the varsity took the floor against a scrappy Charleston Blue Jay team.
Oran was on top 23-17 after one and Leah Cauble scored 19 of her game-high 36 during the first eight minutes. The fourth-seeded Jays rallied and trailed by only one at the break, 34-33.
The Eagles trailed a couple of times early in the third before taking control. They were up 60-44 heading into the final period and then won by 18.
Coach Evans told the blog, "Once again our defense did not look very good. We are just not doing a good job rotating. During the 3rd quarter, we showed a glimpse of what us coaches expect from start to finish. We will need to be ready to get after it tomorrow night in the championship."
Cauble finished with a double-double, in addition to the 36 points that included one trey, she had 14 rebounds and five assists. Jessie Long just missed a double-double of her own as she scored 21 points, 19 of which came in the second half, and grabbed nine boards.
Katelyn Streeter and Katie Webb had eight points, each. Streeter hit a three-pointer. Claire Ramsey added four points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Kaylee Payne was back on the floor last night. She did not score but dished out five assists and had six steals.
They hit 30 of 57 from inside the arc for 53% and only 3 of 15 from beyond for 20%. At the line, they were 8 of 15 for 53%.
The older Eagles are now 9-3.
They will face the third-seeded Scott County Central Bravettes tonight at 8:30 pm as they attempt to 3-peat. It will be the third meeting between the two this season. Oran has won both previous matchups. In November the score was 91-34, but when they played a little less than two weeks ago, the final was 61-48.
Scott Central got past second-seeded Chaffee last night 42-37.