ORAN -- Scott County Central begins its state title run under the guidance of the coach with the most state titles in Missouri schoolboy history.
Hall of Fame coach Ronnie Cookson, winner of a record 12 state championships while at Scott Central, was coaxed out of retirement to lead the Braves in a crisis situation created by the MSHSAA suspension of David Heeb.
Top-seed Scott Central (21-4), ranked No. 7 in the latest Missouri prep basketball poll, opens defense of its 2006 district title as the 2007 Class 1, District 1 Tournament tips off at Oran on Saturday.
Opening the postseason tournament is a single play-in game between the No. 8-seed Southland (4-18), coached by Gary Burnside, and No. 9 Delta C7 (0-18), coached by Lynn Yarbrough, on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Scott Central meets the play-in winner on Monday at 4 p.m.
Although the Braves garnered the higher district seed, they will not enter the tournament with the loftiest state ranking. That distinction belongs to the Clarkton Reindeer who are ranked No. 4.
In Monday's first-round action, No. 2-seed Clarkton (22-3), coached by Jason Long, meets No. 7 Risco (6-16), coached by Brandon Blankenship, at 5:30 p.m.
Third-seeded host Oran (14-11), coached by Denver Stuckey, plays No. 6 Gideon (5-19), coached Josh Campbell, at 7 p.m.
The first-round nightcap features No. 4-seed Cooter (16-9), coached by Frank Killian, against No. 5 North Pemiscot (9-14), coached by Jamie Johnson, at 8:30 p.m.
The field of four in the semifinal round will compete on Tuesday at 6:30 and 8 p.m., followed by the championship final on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Leading the quick, offensive-minded Braves is a trio of prolific scorers in 6-1 junior post Caleb Johnson, also a super rebounder, 5-10 junior guard D.D. Gillespie and 6-foot sophomore forward Drew Thomas.
Clarkton, primarily a run-and-gun, 3-point shooting team, is led by senior leaper Tyler Criglar and sophomore guards Casey Redden and Dustin Ferguson.
Oran, a physically strong squad that operates most efficiently out of its half-
court offensive sets, features leading scorer Chase Seyer, a 6-2 senior forward, Robert Lange, a 6-3 senior post, Hunter Glastetter, a 6-2 senior forward, and 6-foot junior guard Kody Campbell and 5-10 junior guard Cody Romas.
Risco, a perimeter-oriented team, is led by 6-foot guard Ricky Davis and 5-10 guard Kyle White.
Cooter players to watch are 6-7 post Nathan Poe and guards Aaron McCaig and Rinks Hutton.
North Pemiscot counts on scoring from Parker Watkins, Josh Tomlin and Johnny Jackson but the status of its big man, Grant St. Cin, is questionable after being forced to leave Friday's game against Naylor with an ankle sprain.
ORAN -- Scott County Central's girls will have an extra step to reach the sectional round after being the only team in their district the past three seasons.
No. 2-seed Oran and No. 3 Risco join the top-seed Bravettes in the 2007 Class 1, District 1 Tournament at Oran.
Scott Central (18-7), coached by Semona Penrod, gets a bye to the final, slated for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., against the Oran-Risco semifinal winner. Oran (15-10), coached by Larry Boshell, and Risco (1-14), coached by Luke Carter, tip off on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Two high-scoring guards, seniors Brittney Peet and Samantha Jones, lead the Bravettes. Junior post Amanda Lawless is the rebounding leader for Scott Central.
Oran's top scorer is senior post Tiffany Glastetter with senior forward Erica Michelsen the scoring runner-up and inspirational leader.
Key role players for the Lady Eagles are senior guard Wendy Eftink, junior forward Callie Kielhofner and junior guards Jodi Urhahn and Alyson Seyer. Risco has a roster of five players, four are freshmen.