Fourth-seed Oran advances to the quarterfinals with a 66-54 win over fifth-
seed East Prairie.
East Prairie (7-8) led throughout the contest, taking a 47-37 lead into the fourth period, when it all went sour.
"Initially, I think we kind of overlooked them," said Oran coach Jason Andrews. "We beat them once and I kept telling the kids they were a different team than the one we played the first time."
East Prairie came in with a three-game win streak.
Added Andrews, "I challenged the kids in the locker room at halftime. It wasn't the X's and O's that were hurting us, it was just about passion and heart. They matured a bunch in one half of basketball."
Junior Chase Seyer, who scored nine of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, led the Oran surge with three consecutive baskets to open the period as the Eagles pulled within four at 47-43.
"He (Seyer) really stepped up the second half," said Andrews. "When he steps up and plays, he's as good as anyone in this conference."
East Prairie responded with Tony Jones' putback and Dez Johnson's driving layup to extend the lead to 51-43 with about 5 minutes to go.
Oran came right back with Hunter Glastetter's basket, followed by Stephen Mock's 3-pointer -- Oran's only trey -- to close to 51-48.
Mock scored nine of his 13 total in the fourth quarter.
"Stephen is like the 'Microvave,'" said Andrews, with a reference to former streaky shooting pro Vinnie Johnson. "When he's on his game, he's hard to stop."
A pivotal play at the 2:50 mark typified Oran's turning fortunes.
In a mad scramble, sophomore Kody Campbell stripped the ball from an East Prairie player, while both were sitting on the floor, and flipped it to Robert Lange who scored and was fouled.
Lange, who was Oran's scoring runner-up with 16 points, converted the conventional 3-point play to knot the score at 51.
On the ensuing possession, East Prairie's Johnson knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the game for his team's final lead of 54-51 with 2:40 left. It would be East Prairie's final score of the game.
"We just didn't make plays down the stretch," said East Prairie coach Jason Irby. "We were playing hard, but we couldn't get it in the hole."
A deadly combination of misses and turnovers proved fatal to East Prairie.
"In the fourth quarter, we just turned the ball over, against their pressure, way too much," said Irby. "We were hesitant on what we wanted to do with the ball and that's what created some of our turnovers."
On Oran's 29-point output in the final quarter, he added, "We've been playing pretty well on the defensive end for about a month now and that quarter was not characteristic of how we've been playing.
"They hurt us inside. Tony (Jones) got in foul trouble and had to play a little softer than he normally would."
Oran went on to close out the game with a 15-0 run.
East Prairie, with the inside-outside combo of Jones and Johnson clicking early, led 22-10 after the first period, then 32-24 at the half.
Johnson led East Prairie with a game-high 21 points, including the aforementioned four treys, while Jones added 16, including a crowd-pleasing dunk in the third quarter.
It was the third period when Irby felt it began to unravel for his Eagles after they had taken their largest lead of the night at 39-26.
"In the third quarter when we had the lead, we missed so many easy shots," he said. "We had chances to extend the lead, but we kept missing."
Oran coach Andrews praised the contribution off his bench.
"Our bench really sparked us tonight," he said, "getting rebounds and stops in the fourth quarter."
Top reserve Hunter Glastetter was the fourth Oran Eagle in double figures with 11 points.
Oran faces No. 1-seed Kelly in the quarterfinal round on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
In tonight's tournament action, No. 2 Scott City plays No. 7 Chaffee at 7 p.m., then No. 3 Scott County Central tangles with No. 6 Delta at 8:30.