Christmas Tournament: Oran makes big early lead stand up in win over Scott City

Friday, December 28, 2012
Scott City senior Jesse Sanders hits a basket over Oran senior Alex Heuring in Thursday night’s game. (ADAM VOGLER)

The seedings pointed to a tight game while the recent meeting suggested a decisive victory.

Recent meeting won out.

Eighth-seeded Oran posted its second win by double figures over ninth-seeded Scott City in less than three weeks, 68-56 in Thursday's final opening-round game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

The Eagles, who beat Scott City 88-63 on Dec. 7, improved to 9-1. The Rams fell to 3-5.

"Coach preached that we had to come out ready to play because those guys would want revenge for the last time," Oran senior Alex Heuring said.

Come out ready to play the Eagles did.

Oran, which never trailed and was tied only once at 2-2, scored the final 10 points of the first quarter to lead 24-6.

The Eagles twice went ahead by 23 points in the second period, forcing the Rams to face a major uphill battle the rest of the night.

"We played well early. That kind of carried us through," Oran coach Joe Shoemaker said.

Scott City, to its credit, refused to let the contest become a blowout.

"They're a team that doesn't like to quit. They're physical," Heuring said.

But the Rams, who cut the deficit to 37-24 by halftime, trailed by at least 10 points for the majority of the second half. They briefly cut the deficit to 60-51 with under three minutes left but got no closer.

"We dug ourselves a hole. That's completely our fault," Scott City coach Mark Dannenmueller said. "I'm proud of the kids. We kept playing. The bottom line, if we don't get down by 20 points no telling what might happen."

Heuring, a sturdy 6-foot-4, led the Eagles with 20 points. All came from in close, including several on follow shots.

Junior Chance Tenkhoff added 13 points for the Eagles.

Senior Jonathan McFall scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to help rally the Rams.

Ryan Brock, a 6-5 senior, followed with 16 points for Scott City and senior Jesse Sanders added 12 points.

Oran generally relies on a healthy dose of 3-point baskets for much of its offense.

The Eagles missed all 14 of their 3-point attempts Thursday, instead doing most of their damage around the basket. They got numerous put-backs and fast-break layups as they repeatedly beat Scott City up and down the court.

"We weren't shooting well so we tried to work it in and out, get the best shots we could," Heuring said.

Shoemaker noted how rare it is for Oran to win when it makes no shots from beyond the arc.

"That's usually a big part of our game so for us to get a win without making any 3-pointers is nice," Shoemaker said.

Now the Eagles get the monumental challenge of facing defending champion and top-seeded Charleston in today's quarterfinals.

"It's definitely going to be tough but anything can happen," Heuring said.

Scott City618527--56

SCOTT CITY (56) -- Jesse Sanders 12, Jonathan McFall 22, Ryan Fortner 6, Ryan Brock 16. FG 20, FT 14-19, F 16. (3-pointers: Sanders 1, McFall 1. Fouled out: None)

ORAN (68) -- Kody Moore 9, Seth Ressel 9, Jacob Priggel 6, Chance Tenkhoff 13, Hunter Schlosser 9, Alex Heuring 20, Cash Kinney 2. FG 30, FT 8-17, F 17. (3-pointers: None. Fouled out: None.)

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