SCOTT CITY -- The Oran Eagles turned in another subpar defensive effort in an 82-63 Scott-Mississippi Conference loss to the Scott City Rams on Friday.
"If we don't guard, we're not going to win games," said Oran coach Jason Andrews. "This is the third game that we've given up 80 or more points. "But it's only the third game and they're just juniors and sophomores, so we're getting a lot of experience early. As the season goes on, I think we'll learn how to stop people."
Scott City, coming off a blowout loss to Jackson, led wire-to-wire to even its record at 1-1.
"I thought our kids answered the bell tonight," said Scott City coach Lance Amick. "Oran came out physical and our kids didn't back down. We rebounded on the offensive board, and, defensively, we blocked out well."
The Rams used their superior height to control the backboards for a 39-24 advantage over the Eagles.
Oran (0-3) trailed 27-17 after the first quarter, then played the Rams even in the second period.
Midway of the second quarter, Scott City extended its lead to 15 at 36-21, but the Eagles, on five consecutive points by Steven Mock, halted the run and kept pace the remainder of the quarter to keep the halftime deficit at 10 points, 41-31. Hunter Glastetter contributed six points in the period.
Ethan Watkins and Rynn Eskew paced Scott City's first-half offensive output with 10 and nine points, respectively.
The Rams upped the lead to 49-35 at 5:32 of the third quarter, then literally blew the game open with a 14-0 run.
Cold-shooting Oran failed to score for nearly four minutes as the deficit ballooned to 59-35.
Said Andrews, "Our kids are fighters and they won't give up, but they've got to learn that when we haven't scored in four or five possessions, we've got to get it (shot) in the paint."
Trailing 61-39 going into the final quarter, the Eagles, with Chase Seyer coming alive with eight of his 10-point total, cut the margin a bit while outscoring the Rams 24-21.
Both teams received scoring balance with four players in double figures.
The Eagles were led by Mock with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Jordon Mason chipped in with 13, Glastetter added 12 and Seyer 10.
Watkins topped the Rams with 19. Alex King had 16, Eskew 15 and Andy Stephens 12.
Turnover statistics favored the Rams slightly, nine to 13.
"We handled the ball better tonight," said Amick, "and it's nice to come in and get a win at home."
Of the Eagles' offensive effort, Andrews said, "Offensively, we're a lot better. We're taking care of the ball and making better decisions."
"But," he added, "we're still not guarding people. Team man-to-man defense takes a long time to teach, but we'll get it."
Scott City's junior varsity defeated Oran 57-24.
Oran's varsity will seek its first win against conference foe East Prairie on Tuesday, while Scott City hosts South Pemiscot, also on Tuesday.