Oran led 31-23 at halftime of the opener, but Oak Ridge sliced the deficit in half at 34-30 about halfway through the third when the Blue Jays "big" picked up his fourth foul and had to go to the bench and the Eagles went on an 18-0 run to close out the period and lead 52-30 heading into the fourth. It was all the space they needed as the won by 19.
Cameron "Big Dawg" Westrich led all scorers with 19. Samuel Shoemaker also hit double-digits with 13. He connected on a trey.
Dane Shands had seven with a three-pointer. Diesel Cato and Seth Cauble had six apiece. Cato hit one from beyond the arc and Cauble two. Kaleb Gosche had five. Logan Rose and Nick Romas had four each to round out the scoring.
The younger team hit 5 of 9 from the line for 56% and improved to 4-2 in the league and 10-4 overall.
Last night's nightcap was one of the most exciting games of the year.
Oran trailed 12-7 with three minutes to go in the opening period. One minute later it was 17-8 but after another minute and seven, Jacob Shoemaker points the Eagles were within two 17-15. The first quarter ended with Oran down 19-17.
A Shoemaker three on an assist for Todd Priggel at 6:40 of the second tied the game at 22.
Shoemaker hit a runner in the lane to give Oran a 26-25 lead at 4:40. The Eagles led at the half 40-34.
Coming out of the intermission, Oak Ridge went from a 2-3 zone to a 3-2 and it seemed to befuddle the Oran offense. Heading into the fourth quarter the score was 50-48 with the Eagles clinging to a two-point lead.
It appeared that Oran had a chance for some separation late in the third up 48-41 but after a foul on a three-point shot, the Blue Jays converted on all three and made it 48-44.
The final eight minutes were nip and tuck. Thirty seconds into the fourth Oak Ridge tied the game at 50. Over the next three minutes, the Eagles went on a little 5-0 run, on a Priggel field goal in the lane, a Ty Johnson free throw and a Tyson Goodale make under the basket on a nice feed from Shoemaker.
With 3:18 left Oran led 59-54 as the Eagles took a time out.
But after an Eagle turnover, a missed shot, a foul and another missed shot, Oak Ridge knotted it at 59, with 90 ticks remaining.
Priggel was fouled and made both and then Goodale went to the line and he made the first before missing the second. It was 62-59.
At the other end, Goodale deflected the ball out of bounds and the Blue Jays took time out. The clock read 33.3.
When Oran saw the Oak Ridge alignment for the inbounds, the Eagles took time out as well, only adding to the tension and drama.
After those two timeouts, the Blue Jays had trouble inbounding the ball and had to take another time out.
Then, on the inbounds, they worked the ball around the perimeter to the other side and hit the original inbounder who made a game tieing three with about 26 seconds remaining.
Shoemaker brought the ball up the court, dished to Ty Johnson in the right corner, Johnson dribbled back to the middle of the court outside the three-point arc and hit an open Shoemaker, who had cut through the lane and around to the left wing and he nailed, what proved to be the game-winner, well behind the black line. It was his only points of the second half.
The Eagles called time with 7.5 remaining to set up its defense. Oak Ridge was able to get the ball down court and take a contested shot at the top of the key that bounced off the front of the rim and the buzzer sounded.
Jacob Shoemaker led the Eagles with 25 points. He hit four from beyond the arc, grabbed six rebounds and had a team-high four assists. Goodale finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Todd Priggel had 13 points and eight rebounds.
Ty Johnson had five points and a team-high 10 boards. Cooper Priggel had four points and Langdon Scheeter hit a trey to round out the scoring.
Coach Joe Shoemaker said, "We had too many turnovers in the first quarter which led to an Oak Ridge lead and we were forced to play from behind. We made a run in the second quarter and closed the gap. We went cold in the 3rd quarter and missed some shots we normally make. They also did a good job on Jacob in the second half but we were able to counteract what they were doing and get some scoring from other people which is good. Late in the fourth, we had a couple of turnovers that we have to correct. I didn’t make it clear enough in the last timeout about what I wanted to do on switching the screens and that is on me not the players. That timeout allowed us to set up what we wanted to do on our next possession - either tied, up 1,2 or 3-so I didn’t have to call a timeout and let Oak Ridge get set on defense. The players made good choices at the end and we ended up getting a good look which went in.:
The varsity hit 10-19 at the line for 53% and improved to 6-0 and 17-1, respectively. The win clinched the regular season conference championship for the Eagles who will be back in action Friday evening at Leopold. Tip time is 6 pm.
I've added some videos of key moments in the game....scroll down.