It was a tale of two halves for both clubs. In the first half, Sikeston dominated and had a 32-16 lead at the half. In the second half, Oran came out of the locker room and stepped up the defensive pressure. What was an uneventful game, turned into a barnburner.
The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 17-10 first quarter lead. Keyarra Blissett led Sikeston in the first with four points, three assists and two rebounds. Allison Blurton had seven points in the quarter including a 3-pointer.
Sikeston extended the lead in the second quarter, as Lady Bulldogs went on a 13-0 run late in the quarter. Sikeston had its biggest lead of the game at 20 points, 32-12, with two minutes to go until the half. Oran rallied to score the last four points of the second and trailed by 16 points at halftime.
Tiffany Glastetter led Oran at the break with eight points and four rebounds. Wendy Eftink had five points and two rebounds at the break.
"I was pleased with our effort as a team tonight," said Oran head coach Larry Boshell. "We just could not hit our shots in the first half. We knew going into the game that Sikeston was going to be a tough team to beat. They have beat some quality big schools and have also beat Delta who is in our district (Class 1)."
Blurton had seven points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in the first half for Sikeston. Blissett ended the half with six points and three assists. Martika Davis had six points, six rebounds (three offensive) and three assists for the Lady Bulldogs in the half.
"We played well in the first half," said Sikeston head coach Fred Johnson. "I take the blame in the second half. We had a nice lead and I tried to see how a new offense would work. I have learned my lesson, I will never try that stunt again."
Oran came out firing in the second half and outscored Sikeston 10-4 and trailed 36-26 midway through the third quarter. Erica Michelsen made up for a scoreless first half and had seven points in the third, including a 3-pointer. Glastetter pumped in five points in the quarter and Oran was back in the game, trailing 40-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Davis was the main offensive threat for Sikeston in the third quarter, as Davis scored six of Sikeston's eight points.
Oran frustrated Sikeston in the second half with a stingy man-to-man defense and allowed Sikeston just one opportunity on the offensive end.
"We stepped up in the second half defensively," said Boshell. "I was most pleased with how we rebounded. Everyone contributed on the boards, all the girls played well tonight."
Sikeston led 42-36 in the fourth, until Michelsen of Oran drained a 3-pointer to close the gap to 42-39 with 4:28 left in the quarter.
Both teams made 3-of-4 foul shots on their next possessions and Sikeston still had the slim lead of three points, 45-42, with 1:30 to play in the fourth. Whitney McCray put the Lady Bulldogs up 46-42 with 1:20 to go in the game, as she hit on 1-of-2 foul shots.
Michelsen hit one free throw to pull Oran within three points, 46-43 with 1:
15 to play. After a Sikeston turnover, Glastetter of Oran was fouled and sent to the line for two shots. Glastetter made 1-of-2 and the Lady Eagles close the gap to 46-44 with 50 seconds left.
With 45 seconds in the fourth, Sikeston turned the ball over and Oran had a chance to tie the contest. However, a running 5-foot jump shot in the lane rimmed out for Oran and Sikeston secured the rebound.
Amber Minner of Sikeston was fouled and went to the foul line for a 1-and-1. Minner missed the first attempt and bodies collided under the Sikeston basket for the rebound. An Oran player had the ball bounce off her hands and out of bounds. The Lady Bulldogs regained possession.
Once again, Minner was fouled and had a chance to increase the 46-44 lead with 17 seconds to play. Unfortunately for Sikeston fans, Minner failed to convert on the foul shot and Oran secured the rebound and called a timeout with 10 seconds left in the game.
Oran came out of the timeout and ran a play that found Michelsen open for a potential game-winning 3-pointer. The shot came up short at the buzzer and Sikeston survived to pick up the win.
"The hustle from the girls just was not there tonight," said Johnson. "We didn't rebound and defend. We just stood around on the floor and waited for Oran to do something. The girls were not aggressive and didn't attack on offense."
Boshell was pleased with the effort of his team despite the loss.
"I am very proud of the way the girls battled back tonight," said Boshell. "They never gave up and everybody contributed. Total team effort."
Michelsen finished the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Lady Eagles. Glastetter had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Wendy Eftink scored 10 points and had four steals for Oran.
Davis led Sikeston with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Blurton chipped in with 10 points. Blissett had eight points, five rebounds and three assists for the Lady Bulldogs. McCray had five points and seven rebounds for Sikeston.
Sikeston outrebounded Oran 34-25 and won the offensive rebounding battle, 10-8. Sikeston had 12 assists as a team compared to nine for Oran. The Lady Bulldogs had 12 steals and committed 15 turnovers. Oran had seven steals and also committed 15 turnovers.
The Sikeston junior varsity won the their second straight game under coach Tiffany King, 31-25 over the Oran junior varsity. Lashawna Turner led Sikeston with 13 points. Andrea Coleman hit a 3-pointer on her way to six points and Shaketa Ransom chipped in with five points.
Oran (10-8) will be at home against Charleston tonight for a varsity game only.
Sikeston (15-5) will travel to Scott City tonight with the junior varsity game slated to start at 6 p.m.
ORAN (44) - Erica Michelsen 15, Tiffany Glastetter 14, Wendy Eftink 10, Jodi Urhahn 5. FG 10. FT 9-13. F 11. (3-pointers: Michelsen 2, Eftink 2, Urhahn 1. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (46) - Martika Davis 14, Allison Blurton 10, Keyarra Blissett 8, Whitney McCray 5, Latoya Gipson 4, Paige Silverthorn 3, Amber Minner 2. FG 17. FT 6-11. F 13. (3-pointers: Blurton 1, Silverthorn 1. Fouled out: none).