Oran boys basketball team will play for district crown
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Eagles routed Lesterville in the Class 2 District 3 semifinals
ORAN, Mo. -- It took a postgame question to finally stop Oran senior Jon Morrow.
Morrow pulled up when asked if Lesterville ever found a way to stop him Tuesday.
Morrow wiped his brow and let out an awkward chuckle, clearly uncomfortable.
"That's kind of cocky," the 6-foot-6 senior said. "I don't like to be cocky."
Morrow scored 21 points in the first half to lead the Eagles past Lesterville 71-39 and into the Class 2 District 3 boys basketball championship game.
"My teammates did a great job of looking for me in there," Morrow said. "They were just constantly looking."
Morrow outscored the Bearcats on his own in the first half. Lesterville only managed 16 points at the break.
"Their big guy was hurt so they were at a disadvantage," Oran coach Joe Shoemaker said. "We were going to try to attack them there, and the guys did a good job of that."
Morrow's efforts were felt on the defensive end as well. He disrupted Lesterville's offense by getting his paws on a number of shots in the lane, and he did it without getting into foul trouble.
"It's just kind of instinct," Morrow said about blocking shots. "Don't try to hit them and just kind of try to block it."
Lesterville only hit 26 percent (6 of 23) from the field in the first half.
About the only thing that didn't go right for Morrow before halftime took place when he took an elbow to the nose right before the buzzer.
"He got kind of whoosy because he was blocking for me so I could make a layup," Oran senior Nathan Michelsen said. "I guess I have a little to do with that."
Michelsen took over in the third quarter. Lesterville focused its defensive efforts on stopping Morrow inside, so Michelsen went to work on the perimeter. He scored 11 points in the third quarter.
"It makes it a lot easier because they're all over him, double- and triple-teaming him," Michelsen said about Morrow. "They leave everybody else open. So it opens up a lot."
Morrow only scored three points in the third quarter. He hit a shot and fouled then hit the free throw. He didn't play in the fourth quarter since the Eagles entered the final period with a 27-point cushion.
"What they did defensively is they made some adjustments and we didn't do a good job of giving the ball to him," Shoemaker said about Lesterville's second-half defense on Morrow. "We didn't play with a very good rhythm in the third quarter, I thought."
Oran shot 57 percent (8 of 14) from the field compared to 30 percent (6 of 20) for Lesterville in the third quarter. Part of the fourth quarter was played with the running clock, which kicks in when a team leads by at least 30 points.
Morrow led Oran with 24 points, while Michelsen added 17.
Now Oran gets a shot at a district title, something it hasn't accomplished since 1999. The Eagles will host Advance, the No. 2 seed, in Thursday's 7:30 p.m. title game.
"We need to come in and practice hard and go over the personnel and just play good basketball," Morrow said. "Stop the turnovers, hit the boards hard and knock down shots."
ORAN (71) -- Seth Ressel 9, Nathan Michelsen 17, Kody Moore 2, Tyler Heuring 9, Zac Chasteen 6, Reece Mangels 4, Jon Morrow 24. FG 27, FT 11-12, F 16. (3-pointers: Ressel 1, Michelsen 1, Heuring 1, Chasteen 1. Fouled out: none)
LESTERVILLE (39) -- Tom McGeever 4, Evan Stewart 2, Trevor Cunningham 10, Shawn Berryhille 1, Kris Pippen 6, Blane Kelley 16. FG 13, FT 7-12, F 13. (3-pointers: Cunningham 2, Pippen 2, Kelley 2. Fouled out: Berryhill)