Sound post play and solid rebounding by Kelly proved to be the winning combination. Kelly's frontcourt scored 35 of their 66 points and the Hawks outrebounded Oran 27-17 in the contest.
"We rebounded well as a team tonight," said Kelly head coach Cory Johnson. "Rebounding is a point of emphasis for us, as we rely our getting second and third opportunities on the offensive end. We had some solid possessions tonight and made the most of our opportunities."
Kelly trailed 13-12 after Steven Mock of Oran hit a 3-pointer to end the first quarter. The Hawks responded in the second with a 10-0 run to go up 22-13 at the start of the quarter.
Oran hung tough and went on a 5-0 run to cut the Kelly lead to 26-21 with 2:
50 to play in the second. Kelly had its biggest lead of the first half, 32-21, but the Eagles closed out the second on a 4-0 run to make the score 32-25 at halftime.
"Kelly is a good, physical defensive team that made us work for every point," said Oran head coach Jason Andrews. "We had some good looks early but we couldn't finish them off."
Oran got to within 34-30 of the Hawks before Kelly proceeded to score two baskets to go up 38-30 at 4:38 of the third quarter. Kelly kept up the offensive pressure on the Eagles by going on a 12-4 run late in the third quarter, to lead 46-34 with two minutes to play in the quarter.
The Eagles battled back and closed the third on an 8-2 run. Heading into the fourth quarter, Kelly led 50-42.
Even with low post force Spencer Ayers sidelined from a blow to the head, Kelly went down low in the paint for some baskets to start off the fourth. Led by Jacob Glastetter and Brandon Ayers, the Hawks went on a 7-0 run early in the quarter and led 57-45 with 5:50 to play in the contest.
Oran battled back in the fourth, as Chris Asmus hit several clutch 3's in the quarter to bring the Eagles within five points, 63-58, with 52 seconds left in the game.
The Eagles could not get any closer as a couple of missed 3-pointers and a huge block by Glastetter of the Hawks sealed the fate of Oran. Kelly hit their free throws down the stretch for the 66-58.
"It was a physical game on both ends," said Johnson. "The guards on both teams did an outstanding job of handling the ball with someone draped all over them. It was a good win for us to get prepared for district play."
Brandon Ayers led Kelly in scoring with 15 points. Point guard Stephen Strobel had 13 points and Spencer Ayers had 11 points and led the team with eight rebounds. Glastetter scored nine points and had five rebounds (three offensive).
Asmus and Chase Seyer led Oran with 17 points apiece. Asmus hit five 3's in the contest. Kody Campbell led the Eagles with four assists.
"I am proud of the way our guys competed tonight," said Andrews. "We were down 16 points at one point in the game and battled back. If we can play this way against a Class 3 team (Kelly), we will do well against Class 1 teams."
On senior night, Andrews praised the lone senior for the Eagles, Jordan Mason who had seven points and four rebounds for Oran.
"I am proud of Jordan Mason," said Andrews. "He is a good leader and he always leads the team in the right direction on and off the court."
Oran passed the ball well all night and had 13 assists as a team, while Kelly had 10 assists. Both squads had eight steals, with Kelly committing 18 turnovers and Oran had 13 turnovers.
Oran (10-13) will begin play in Class 1, District 2 with a matchup against Zalma on Monday at 8:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge High School.
Kelly (16-9) began play in Class 3, District 2 at Greenville High School on Saturday against Woodland. Results were not available at press time.
The Kelly Lady Hawks disposed of the Oran Lady Eagles in the game before the varsity boys, 55-29.
What was an interesting contest in the first half, devolved into a Kelly one-
sided affair, as Oran was outscored 29-7 in the second half. Oran committed 18 turnovers in both the first and second halves, as the pressure put on by the Lady Hawks frustrated Oran all night.
"The story of the game was the turnovers," said Oran head coach Larry Boshell. "We just threw the ball away in the game. We did a poor job of taking care of the ball."
After leading 26-22 at the half, Kelly went on a 13-0 run that encompassed the entire third quarter from the five minute mark on. Brittany Ponder led the charge for Kelly with five points in the quarter. Oran committed 10 turnovers in the third and only managed to score two points in the quarter.
Kelly outscored Oran 11-3 early in the fourth quarter and led 52-27, on their way to the victory.
"I would like to think coach (Cory) Johnson (Kelly's varsity coach) for letting us practice with the boys," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "We learned to play quicker against the boys and it was a good test for us to learn how to play with pressure."
Ponder had a great night for Kelly with 18 points, eight assists, five rebounds and five steals.
Freshman Debra Hall had 12 points and seven rebounds (four offensive). Senior Mindy Robert had seven points, seven rebounds (four offensive), three assists and three steals.
Tiffany Glastetter led Oran with 10 points and had nine rebounds (six offensive). Wendy Eftink hit three 3-pointers for nine points and senior Hanna Seyer had five points and four rebounds.
Erica Michelsen had four points, had a game-high 14 rebounds and dished out six assists.
Oran won the rebounding battle over Kelly, 39-31. Kelly garnered 14 assists as a team, while Oran had six assists. The Lady Hawks committed 12 turnovers and had 17 steals as a team. Oran had six steals as a team.
Oran (15-9) will play in Class 1, District 2 finals on Friday at 6 p.m. against Delta at Oak Ridge High School.
Kelly (17-8) played on Saturday in Class 3, District 2 at Greenville against Puxico. Results were not available at press time.