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Oak Ridge boys basketball team smothers Delta in third quarter
Editor's note: The box score for this game has been corrected
DELTA, Mo. -- Oak Ridge senior Brett Thomas described his team's win over Delta in the Class 1 District 2 semifinals in a single word: Ugly.
"We never got into a flow on offense," Thomas said. "We couldn't stop fouling on defense, and we couldn't make free throws or layups, which is pretty much our team to a T.
"All we do is shoot layups and free throws and we didn't make either of them. But at crunch time, we buckled down and came through."
The Blue Jays turned a two-point lead with 2 minutes, 15 seconds to go in the game into a 14-point lead just more than two minutes later on their way to a 55-46 victory Tuesday at Delta High School.
Oak Ridge junior Kyle Rohde started the run a wide-open layup, and the Blue Jays reeled off a 13-0 run to seal the victory.
Delta limited Rohde's and Ryan Below's touches inside for much of the game. When the Blue Jays got shots in the paint, they often missed.
Oak Ridge, the No. 2 seed, shot 18 of 50 (36 percent) from the field but made 10 of its 12 free-throw attempts in the final two minutes of the game.
"They just weren't falling," Rhode said. "I couldn't finish my layups. It just seemed nothing would fall in and nothing was going right for us."
Delta, the No. 3 seed, lead 32-29 at halftime behind 10 of 22 (45 percent) shooting from the floor.
"Defensively, in both halves of the game, I thought we did a good job and that kept us in the game along with our effort," Delta coach Justin Simpher said. "Our seniors and everybody off the bench came out and they left it all out there."
Delta did not make a field goal in the third quarter and scored just one point. Oak Ridge took a four-point lead by the end of the period and did not trail again.
"I told them in the locker room I thought we were still on the bus," Oak Ridge coach Adam Stoneking said. "They responded and came out with one point in the third quarter. That's what you're asking for. You go in there and you give that fire and brimstone speech and you throw stuff around and you yell and scream and that's what you like to see is when they respond.
"They take that challenge. They don't get down on themselves. One point in the third quarter -- that's the difference in the game right there."
The Bobcats scored their first field goal of the second half with 5:08 left in the fourth quarter.
"They switched their defense up on us and it took us a little bit to adjust," Simpher said. "Then we just forced some shots as opposed to taking good shots, and that's what we did do in the first half -- took good shots and played good defense."
Thomas and Rhode led Oak Ridge (23-5) with 13 points apiece, while Jacob Light added 12.
Sophomore Tanner Schabbing led Delta with 13 points. Austin Lashley had nine points for the Bobcats, who finished the year 10-13.
Oak Ridge will face top seed and two-time defending state champion Scott County Central for the district championship 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
"It's a challenge and I'm up for it," Rhode said. "I think we're up for it. You don't get that every day, to play a good team like that."
DELTA (46) -- Greg Brawley 13, Brandon Horman 6, Collin Schabbing 2, Zach Riegert 8, Chase Crowden 7, Austin Lashley 9, Dallas Naramore 1. FG 14, FT 15-23, F 25. (3-pointers: Riegert 2, Brawley 1. Fouled out: none)
OAK RIDGE (55) -- Stephen Bolen 2, Caleb Elam 9, Jacob Light 12, Ryan Below 6, Kyle Rohde 13, Brett Thomas 13. FG 18, FT 18-27, F 20. (3-pointers: Elam 1. Fouled out: Light)