ORAN - The 50th Annual Oran Invitational entered day two of play, as first round competition continued with the Advance Hornets defeating the Kelly Hawks, 72-59.
Kelly was a bit too aggressive in the game as the Hornets went to the foul line 36 times and made 24 charity shots. The Hawks only went to the line 17 times and made eight free throws.
"Turnovers and too many fouls cost us tonight," said Kelly head coach Cory Johnson. "Advance is a good team with active hands but we shot ourselves in the foot tonight. We have to learn to be aggressive, but play smart at the same time."
Advance ran a perimeter-oriented offense in which they played four players up top, with one post player. Pass and cut is the main feature of the offense and Kelly had a difficult time in defending the Hornets' offense.
Kelly trailed by two after one quarter largely because they committed eight turnovers in the quarter. Advance scored a majority of their points on offensive rebounds as they out-rebounded the Hawks, 39-27.
Advance stretched out their lead to 31-24 at halftime thanks in large part to the play of 6-foot-2 junior forward Alex Steil, who did hit a 3-pointer, but did most of his damage in the lane and scored a team-high 20 points.
"Our guys moved extremely well without the ball tonight," said Advance head coach Joe Shoemaker. "We try to keep the lane from being congested by having four players out by the arc and that allows us to find some lanes for back-door cuts."
The Hornets took control early in the third quarter as they were up by as many as 16 points midway through the quarter. However, the Hawks made a comeback and cut it down to eight points heading into the fourth quarter, thanks to two 3-pointers drained by 5-11 senior Russell Carroll, with seconds left in the third quarter.
Kelly's large crowd was fired up for the final quarter and it looked liked the Hornets were on their heels as they started the quarter.
With six minutes remaining in the game, Kelly cut the Advance lead to two, 54-52. The Hornets sunk their heels in and went on an 8-0 run and Advance led 62-52 with 4:30 left in the contest.
"We had a very difficult time trying to rebound the basketball," said Johnson. "Our guys haven't played much together and it is a learning process for the team."
Advance cruised the rest of the fourth quarter and sank their free throws to ice the game and garner the victory, 72-59.
Besides the 20 points from Steil, Advance second leading scorer was 5-10 junior Daryl Wade who poured in 15 points. Jordan Seabaugh had a good game with 11 points for the Hornets.
Jeremy Limbaugh and James Masters led Advance in rebounding with eight boards apiece and Steil helped out with seven rebounds. Masters led the Hornets in assists with five.
Brandon Ayers led Kelly in scoring with 18 points. Carroll hit three 3-pointers and had 11 points in the game. Jordan Felter hit the boards and came away with 10 rebounds to lead the Hawks. Jacob Glastetter pulled down five rebounds.
Point guard Stephen Strobel for Kelly dished out five assists while Felter was second on the team with four assists.
Shoemaker was pleased with the victory, but has some areas that the Hornets need to work on.
"We did a good job of rebounding at times," said Shoemaker. "We have been working in practice on crashing the boards but after tonight we need to work on defensive rebounding. Kelly got too many second chance opportunities tonight."
Advance (1-0) advances to the semifinals on Thursday and will face top seed Twin Rivers at 6:30 p.m.
Kelly (0-1) moves to the consolation side of the bracket and will play Richland on Thursday at 5 p.m.
In the second game of the evening, the Scott County Central Braves advanced to the consolation championship game as they defeated the host Oran Eagles, 89-73.
The Braves got a huge game from 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard D.D. Gillespie, who scored a game-high 36 points and also dished out six assists.
"We played extremely hard last night (in the 90-77 loss to Malden)," said Scott County Central head coach David Heeb. "I was hoping we would come out with that same intensity. We did play hard tonight but we have a long way to go."
Oran started out of the gates fast as they went to the low post for some easy buckets and led 17-16 after one quarter. The Braves started the game and finished it, with a full-court press that forced Oran to commit eight turnovers in quarter.
It took some time for Scott Central to get going and at 6:13 of the first quarter, Heeb had seen enough from his starters. A whole new starting five was sent in to replace the starters and to hopefully send a message. At 5:48 of the first, the starting five was back in the game.
The scenario was repeated at 4:25 of the quarter, as the starters were once again replaced. They were sent back in at 3:33 of the quarter and the message seemed to be received.
"Our team is so young," said Heeb. "I am teaching at every possible moment trying to get through to the guys."
"Our weakness is handling the basketball and it showed tonight," said Oran head coach Jason Andrews. "They (Scott Central) put a ton of pressure on us and we had problems with the press. But it was not just them, we made it hard on ourselves by just throwing the ball away in the open floor."
The Braves led 41-34 at halftime but Heeb was not satisfied with the effort.
"We did an excellent job of forcing turnovers," said Heeb. "But we did a bad job of giving up lay-ups. We let them have too many easy baskets. We have got to increase our defensive intensity."
Oran continued turning the basketball over in the second half, as the Braves forced nine third quarter turnovers. Scott Central extended the lead to 20 points at the end of the third quarter, 71-51, thanks in large part to Gillespie driving into the lane and draining 10-foot jumpers.
The Eagles started to pound the post in the fourth quarter, as they fed 6-1 junior Hunter Glastetter, who poured in a team-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
"Our gameplan going into the game was to go down low," said Andrews. "Last night (in a loss against Bell City) we took ill-advised 3-pointers. Tonight, we focused on getting the basketball to the post for a higher percentage shot."
The Eagles took advantage of some over aggressiveness by the Braves, and attempted 31 free throws while making 23. Oran tried to stay in the contest with good foul-shooting and did outscore Scott Central in the fourth quarter 22-18, but in the end, the Braves came away with a 89-73 victory.
Pershard Owens was second on the Braves in scoring with 14 points and led the team with nine rebounds. Drew Thomas scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Kody Campbell scored 16 points and hit two 3-pointers in the game for Oran. Jordon Mason netted 14 points and hauled down four rebounds with three assists.
Chase Seyer had seven points and was second on the team with nine rebounds for the Eagles. Nick Anderson dished out five assists and Chris Asmus pulled down seven rebounds to pace Oran.
"I am happy with the win but we have many areas to improve upon," said Heeb. "Our post defense was not very good and because we have little size, we have got to find a way to defend as a group."