(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
BENTON -- In the opening round of the Scott Mississippi Conference tournament on Monday afternoon the No. 7 seed Oran Lady Eagles upset the No. 2 seed Charleston Lady Bluejays 59-53.
At one point Oran held a 17-point lead in the third quarter, but the Lady Bluejays made a late game charge at the lead in the fourth. They opened up the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run to make it a 52-45 game but the Lady Eagles continued to hold their ground.
Seniors Kirstie Mangels and Taylor Tenkhoff led Oran with 17 and 16 points respectively.
"We've got to have senior leadership," Friga said. "I always tell the seniors 'it's your job to lose.' They got out there and had a big ballgame for us."
Charleston was led by Kasuela Cooper's 16 points. Jerquawnda Sherrell finished up with 13.
"We didn't play good tonight (Monday)," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "Our intensity wasn't there all night. We picked it up late when we realized we had to but, give credit to Oran. They played real well, they hit shots and put us in a hole that was too big for us to get out of."
Oran (3-4) will now move on to face the No. 3 seed Delta Lady Bobcats on Wednesday.
The East Prairie Lady Eagles pulled off another upset in the first round of the conference tournament when they upended the No. 4 seed Scott City Lady Rams in a close 46-44 final.
In what was a tight contest from beginning to end, the Lady Eagles hit free throws down the stretch when it counted the most.
Grace Swann was sent to the line with 13 seconds left in regulation and East Prairie down 44-43. Swann calmly sank both free throws to give her team the one-point lead.
The ensuing Scott City possession ended with a shot that sailed out of bounds which gave the Lady Eagles the ball with only a couple seconds remaining.
With 0.5 seconds left, Megan Hedges was sent to the charity stripe and hit her first, but missed her second. With minimal time left on the clock, Scott City failed to get a shot off in time from the rebound.
"The girls kept their head," East Prairie head coach Steven Douglas said. "They went to the free throw line and made their free throws when it counted and then held on. It was a great win for us. Historically, that would have been a game that we have not have won."
Jennifer Nicholson led the Lady Eagles with 24 points. Swann chipped in with 13.
The No. 5 seed Lady Eagles will now take on the No. 1 seed Kelly Lady Hawks on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The No. 3 seed Delta Lady Bobcats dropped the No. 6 seed Chaffee Lady Devils 60-31 on Monday night.
Taylor Smith and Jodi Menz each had 14 points a piece to lead the Lady Bobcats. Kendra Burnett added 10 points as well.
Chaffee's Amber Kirk scored 18 points to lead the Lady Devils which included three 3-pointers.
Delta moves on to the second round to take on the Oran Lady Eagles on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.