Christmas tournament: Jackson overpowers Oran to reach semis

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Jackson junior Caleb Newcomer takes a jumpshot over Oran defenders during Tuesday's game at the Southeast Missourian Christmas tournament at the Show Me Center. (Laura Simon)

A stat sheet fails to measure Bobby Clark's influence on Tuesday night's contest.

The senior did everything.

Clark hustled his way to a game-high 28 points and was a force on the boards to lead the Indians to a 68-44 victory over Oran in a Southeast Missourian Christmas tournament quarterfinal.

"He was physically stronger than us tonight," Oran coach Joe Shoemaker said. "He just wore us out. That's about all there was to it. We didn't do a very good job of getting him off the glass and away from the rim shooting the ball."

Added Indians coach Darrin Scott: "I thought he slowed down later and made better post moves around the baskets, and he got a few easy baskets in transition."

Oran senior Nathan Michelsen, left, attempts to steal the ball from Jackson junior Tahjay Matthews Tuesday, December 28, 2010 during the second round of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center. Jackson defeated Oran 68-44. (Laura Simon)

The Indians were led by Clark, but Oran wasn't a pushover.

The Eagles battled Jackson to near even in the first quarter with the Indians taking a 14-10 advantage.

"I thought for them, Morrow came out and played really well," Scott said. "I thought he came out and was aggressive. ... I think he played really well in the post, and I thought they were real aggressive rebounding, attacking and guarding hard. They came out with a lot of confidence and energy."

The Eagles limited their turnovers in the first quarter and contained Jackson's strength on the boards.

Neither lasted long.

Jackson senior Zach McDowell takes a shot around an Oran defender Tuesday, December 28, 2010 during the second round of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center. Jackson defeated Oran 68-44. (Laura Simon)

"We weren't turning the ball over and we were keeping them off the offensive glass," Shoemaker said about the first quarter. "They got more aggressive and beat us to virtually every loose ball tonight and beat us up on the glass tonight, and we had a lot of silly turnovers. Against good teams, you can't do that."

The Indians caught fire in the second quarter.

Clark scored a quick five points, Zach McDowell added two free throws and Clark and Caleb Newcomer hit buckets to cap an 11-0 run and push the Indians' lead to 23-10.

"In the second, we started extending out and pressing and running and jumping a little bit and got a couple steals and got out and got some easy baskets," Scott said. "I thought we got a few stops and got out in transition. We started to try and trap and double Morrow when he caught it in the post to try and limit him from getting the basketball."

Jackson took a comfortable 33-19 lead into halftime.

Jackson senior Zach McDowell defends Oran senior Nathan Michelsen during Tuesday's game.

"We just had the mindset that we had to come out and play hard," Clark said. "We knew we could get after them a little bit on the boards with our size, and everybody bought into it and we played hard."

Oran appeared to be back in the game with two quick baskets to start the second half and cut the Indians' lead to 33-23, but Jackson's Tyler Rhodes erupted.

The sharp-shooting senior hit three straight 3-pointers and Clark added a basket and a free throw to complete a 12-0 run and bury the Eagles.

"There were two things," Scott said about the run. "I thought he [Rhodes] did a good job. He went through a stretch where he didn't shoot it well. He shot it well early and now he's back in a good rhythm shooting it. And I thought our guys did a good job of finding him. Our three big men have scored quite a bit. It's so big when we find him open and he gets in rhythm and shoots it because now teams have to get out on him and spread out. He was huge."


JACKSON (68) -- Caleb Newcomer 8, Law Duncan 1, Tyler Rhodes 11, Zach McDowell 11, Chris Poyner 1, Bobby Clark 28, Brad Clary 2, John Meyer 6. FG 24, FT 17-23, F 11. (3-pointers: Rhodes 3. Fouled out: none)

ORAN (44) -- Nathan Michelsen 9, Preston Scherer 4, Kody Moore 4, Tyler Heuring 6, Reece Mangels 6, Jon Morrow 15. FG 18, FT 6-10, F 18. (3-pointers: Michelsen 2. Fouled out: Moore)

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