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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Kelly boys, girls pound Oran

Friday, February 25, 2005

Kelly's Kendal Deason tries to score as he is surrounded by Oran players.
BENTON -- The Kelly boys varsity wrapped up a memorable regular season with a conference title and an unblemished homecourt record on Thursday.

Kelly (19-5 overall) romped past Oran 67-30 on Senior Night to clinch the Scott-Mississippi Conference regular-season championship with a 6-0 mark while racking up its ninth home victory in as many contests.

"It's been like a Cinderella season," said Kelly's top reserve, senior Clay Mothershead. "The past couple of years haven't been all that great, but this year we're playing well together, we've got a great coach and we'll just see where it takes us from here."

The Hawks played without head coach Cory Johnson who was serving a one-

game suspension as a result of an ejection from the previous game.

Jessica Burnett and ORan's Wendy Eftink scramble for a loose ball.
Assistant Matt Hale was at the helm as the Hawks had little trouble with overmatched Oran (3-18).

Johnson, in a post-game interview, said, "Our focus was about staying focused, basically. We wanted to finish the season strong. In games like this, you try to come out and play hard and play fundamental basketball."

Actually, Kelly came out of the gate slowly, missing its first seven field-goal attempts, but still led 12-4 at the end of the first quarter.

The Hawks regained their shooting touch in the second, hitting 7-of-9 two-

pointers -- 9-of-16 overall.

Kelly, forcing 13 first-half Oran turnovers, led 32-7 at the half. Oran committed 21 turnovers on the evening.

"We, obviously, knew we couldn't run with them because they're a lot more athletic," said Oran coach Jason Andrews. "Our gameplan was to slow it down, take super-good shots, hope we make them, and then, rebound and defend on the other end.

"Gameplan-wise, we had a good gameplan going. We just had a spurt where they got some steals that led to quick baskets in the first half and we allowed them to get on the boards and that hurt us, too."

With both teams substituting freely in the second half, Kelly held a 54-22 third-quarter advantage.

Kent Deason paced the Hawks with 17 points, including four 3-pointers, while Kendal Deason had 15 with three treys.

Jordan and Derek Felter chipped in with eight points apiece while Trent Walter added seven.

Ryan Bouge topped the Eagles with seven, Robert Lange had six. Now, Kelly takes its nine-game win streak into the Class 3, District 2 Tournament at Greenville.

"The thing we talked about, coming in, is that this was the last game before the district tournament and I told the kids 'let's pretend this is round one and let's get ourselves prepared to go into a very tough district,'" said Johnson. "We've got some little nagging injuries, but everybody's got those this time of year. It's time to suck it up and go on or go home."

Kelly, the No. 1 seed, opens against No. 8 Greenville on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Other district competitors and seeds include: No. 2 Charleston, No. 3 Scott City, No. 4 East Prairie, No. 5 Puxico, No. 6 Clearwater and 7. Woodland.

No. 6-seed Oran enters the Class 1, District 2 Tournament at Delta against Oak Ridge.

Kelly's girls defeated Oran 53-23 on Thursday for the program's 500th win. Playing the second game of a tripleheader which also included a junior varsity boys' game, the Lady Hawks' win lifted them into a three-way tie for the Scott-Mississippi Conference regular-season championship.

Kelly, Scott County Central and Delta finished with 6-1 records.

Oran (8-11) displayed a decent defensive effort, but struggled on the offensive end.

"We couldn't buy a bucket," said Oran coach Larry Boshell. "We did o.k., defensively, holding Kelly to 23 first-half points, which I'll take anytime. We just couldn't score."

Kelly (21-4) led 23-7 at the half.

Kelly Essner led the Hawks with 21 points while Jessica Burnett added 11.

Erica Michelsen topped the Bobcats' scoring with eight.

In district competition, the top-seeded Hawks face No. 8 East Prairie at Greenville on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Oran salvaged a victory in the boys junior varsity game with a 45-31 win over Kelly.

Chase Seyer led Oran with 18 points. Kelly was led by Tim Mayhall with 12.