(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
Oran fell behind early in the contest, as the Lady Bobcats rushed out to a 12-
1 lead late in the first quarter. A Kirstie Mangles' field goal gave the Lady Eagles a total of three points, as the first quarter came to a close 12-3 in favor of Delta.
In the second quarter however, Oran outscored their opponent, 10-7, and pulled within six points going into the break at halftime. Claire Seyer, Ellen Sikes and Mangles each had one field goal in the quarter, while Callie Kielhofner added two of her own.
Coming out of the break, the Lady Eagles went on another scoring run as they outscored Delta again in the third quarter, 13-8, pulling to within one point of the lead heading into the fourth quarter, 27-26. Kielhofner got things started in the third, while Mangles finished off the quarter when she knocked down a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining.
The fourth quarter was an all-out battle as the Lady Bobcats' Jodi Menz drained two 3-pointers and scooped up several rebounds down the stretch for Delta.
Late in the fourth, Oran managed to pull within three points, 39-36, with 1:56 remaining in the game, but Delta buckled down for remainder of the quarter, and ended up finishing the game on a 4-0 run to hold on late for the win, 43-36.
Menz finished the game as the leading scorer overall, with 15 points. She also had 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Sarah Keys also had 12 points for the Lady Bobcats.
For the Lady Eagles, Mangles led in scoring with 10 points, while Kielhofner chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
Oran head coach Adam Friga was pleased after the game with his squad's effort in the loss.
"The kids played hard tonight," Friga said. "Delta's tough, and they're a well-
coached team. What we're worried about doing is getting ready for the district tournament, and teams like that is what is going to make us better."
"We laid it all on the line for 32 minutes again tonight," he added. "That's all we can do. In the first quarter we had eight turnovers that put us in a hole, but we defended really hard the rest of the game, took care of the ball and it was a ball-game then. We can eliminate our first quarter mistakes and who knows what happens."
The Lady Eagles fall back to .500 with the loss, with a record of 7-7.
If both teams were to eventually win their district, then they would meet up again in a sectional match-up.
Delta head coach Randy White said of his team's performance that it was a little sluggish at times, and that Oran ran match-up defense really well against his club.
"We didn't move as well as we're capable and we missed the open player several times," said White. "We just have to get in the gym and keep getting better. We rebounded well on the offensive end and got several boards and second opportunities and that saved us."
The win improves the Lady Bobcats' record to 14-1, and they sit at No. 6 in the state polls in Class 1.
Delta rolls into Sikeston on Tuesday evening to take on the Lady Bulldogs, while Oran's next task is Meadow Heights on the road Monday night.