(Photos by Josh Mills, Staff)
ORAN--The 52nd Annual Oran Invitational basketball tournament got under way on Monday evening, with the No. 8 seed Oran Eagles falling to the No. 1 seed Scott County Central Braves 94-62 in game one.
"I come away very pleased," Oran head coach Denver Stuckey said. "There was a lot of energy from our guys. We were down double-digits in the first half, and we made it a game."
"We were within eight points in the third quarter," he added. "It was good, especially with three kids with no varsity experience. They played hard."
Oran trailed by just 10 at the half, 39-29.
"We were just standing (around)," Cookson said. "We weren't moving and we didn't play well. This is three games that we haven't played well."
Cookson went on to say that his team hasn't shown the potential that they are capable of on the court as of yet this season.
Oran's Kody Campbell led the Eagles in scoring, putting up 19 points, with two three-pointers.
Tyler Beardslee and Cody Romas each added 14 points in the loss.
For the victorious Braves, it was another positive offensive night from Drew Thomas, who scored 27 points in the win, going 3-for-4 at the charity stripe.
DD Gillespie added 22 in the victory, with two three-point baskets.
Oran will now play in the consolation bracket, on Thursday night at 5 p.m. against the loser of the Advance and Cooter game.
Scott Central advances to Thursday's winner's bracket, where they will face the winner of the Advance and Cooter game. The winner's bracket game will be played at 6:30 p.m. Bell City 65, Kelly 59
In game two of the tournament, the Bell City Cubs barely held off the Kelly Hawks, winning 65-59 in a close game.
First-year coach Nate Wills, of Kelly, came away with a lot of good, in his team's first appearance in the 2007-2008 season.
"We didn't go down easy," Wills said. "For the first game, we played really hard and we didn't quit. I could tell from the start that we were going to battle the whole game."
Wills went on to comment on the well-coached Bell City squad, noting that they have won six straight district titles, and have made it to the Final Four, three years in a row.
"Bell City is a good team," Wills said. "They can play."
At halftime, the Cubs were up 38-25.
Bell City was led by Nick Niemczyk, who put up 22 points, his third straight game this season over 20 points. Niemczyk hit two three-pointers that proved to be key late in the game.
Marty Dames added 18 in the victory.
For the Hawks, Chris Cooper scored 11 points in the losing effort.
Omar Campos hit two three-pointers in a late fourth quarter rally, but the Cubs held off the push, and held on for the win. Campos finished the game with eight points.
The Hawks were 7-for-10 at the line, and had 19 fouls in the game.
Bell City was 12-for-19 in free-throws, and had 14 fouls.
"It was good for our kids to play them," Wills said. "(It's) a good start to our season."
Kelly will now face Malden tonight at 7:30 p.m. Malden lost to Twin Rivers by a score of 65-59 in the third game of the night.