Kelly High School has tapped Bell City native Nathan Wills as its next head basketball coach.
Wills has been an associate head varsity coach at Duchesne High School in St. Charles the past three years. Along with his basketball duties, Wills will also be the head baseball coach. Wills, 28, is a Southeast Missouri State graduate.
"I think Kelly's a great school," Wills said. "I think Cory Johnson began a great program and I'm really looking forward to expanding what he's done there."
Johnson, who had held down both positions along with athletic director, stepped down to take a job as an assistant basketball coach at Jackson.
"I'm very pleased with [our hiring] of Nathan Wills," Kelly principal Tom Hulshof said. "He has big shoes to fill, but I think he will do a great job for us."
Matt Hale will take over as athletic director. Hale is the track coach at Kelly.
This will be the first head coaching position for Wills, who has four years coaching experience as an assistant. Wills said he wasn't necessarily looking to coming back to Southeast Missouri.
"It was a plus, but really just an added bonus," he said. "I've had a lot of respect for Kelly starting when I was in high school and saw they had an opening."
ADVANCE -- Judging by the wildness of Oran starter Alex Chasteen's warmup session heading into the bottom of the first inning Wednesday at Advance, it looked like it could be a short day for the junior.
Chasteen's first warmup skipped past catcher Caleb Seyer, and nearly half of the tosses hit the dirt. When the Hornets stepped into the batter's box, Chasteen found his groove.
Chasteen allowed just two hits, one walk, two hit batsmen and struck out eight in six innings as Oran shut out Advance 13-0.
"It didn't look very good to start off," Chasteen admitted. "I was a little nervous, but it seems like I've started a few games off like that."
Added Oran coach Mitch Wood: "He's one of those kids you can't really tell how he's going to throw even after the first or second inning. But so far he's done well for us."
The first three Advance hitters all struck out looking, and Chasteen got his first five outs via the called third strike. Much of that damage was done with a split-finger pitch.
"I had pretty good command of it today," Chasteen said.
In fact, seven of Chasteen's eight strikeouts came on called third strikes.
All seven of those appeared to be on split-finger pitches.
"I guess I could call it [an out pitch]," Chasteen said. "I've just added it the last few weeks."
Advance starter Rusty Hendricks held his own in the early going. Hendricks pitched out of jams in the second and third innings to hold the Eagles scoreless through three innings.
Oran (11-1) finally cracked the scoring column in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double from Chase Seyer. Hendricks stranded two more runners in the inning to avoid further damage. The Eagles were back at it in the fifth, adding two runs on two hits and a walk. Seyer and Chris Asmus had RBIs in the inning.
"We hung with them for six," Advance coach Bob Moses said. "Rusty got tired, that was it. But I can't say enough about the effort he gave on the mound. He came to play."
Shaky defense helped put the game out of reach in the sixth inning.
Advance started the inning with two errors, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Kody Campbell drove in a pair with a single, and Tyler Beardslee made the score 6-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Hendricks allowed three straight hits in the seventh before being lifted for a reliever. The Hornets committed three errors in all.
Chase Seyer and Asmus led the Eagles with three hits apiece. Seyer drove in three.
"The ballgame was a lot closer than the score," Wood said.