(Josh Mills, Staff)
Although the Tigers held tight in the second quarter, they trailed at the break 37-20.
At the start of the second quarter, Risco head coach Brandon Blankenship jumbled up the lineup a bit, putting three junior varsity members on the floor to try to 'spark the offense.'
"Those kids all play JV," said Blankenship of Luke Bixler, Chris Pavy and Jeremy Fowler, who all started the third quarter. "It was mainly to give us a spark. They (Oran) were killing us and we weren't handling the ball well against their press."
Blankenship went on to say that the trio had just one quarter available each, so he was hoping to make a solid run against the Eagles and their tough defense.
The move paid off to some degree, as the only quarter that the Tigers led happened to be the third where they outscored Oran 17-15. Even still, the Eagles held a 52-37 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
In the fourth quarter, Oran (2-2) grabbed control and rode a 19-point effort to the victory. Risco (1-3) managed just eight points in the final eight minutes.
The Tigers were without post player Zach Williams, whom Blankenship said would've made a difference. Williams was out due to illness.
"He was our leading player in the Bernie tournament," said Blankenship of Williams. "He had 33 points against Puxico. But, again, one player is not going to make a difference in this kind of game."
Two players that did make a significant difference in the game as far as Oran was concerned, were guard Nathan Michelsen and center Jon Morrow. Michelsen finished with a game-high 30 points while Morrow chipped in 15 of his own.
At halftime Michelsen had 19 points while Risco had just 20. He connected from beyond the arc three times in the victory.
Morrow scarfed down rebound after rebound, had a handful of blocks and finished 5-for-8 from the charity stripe.
After the game, Oran head coach Joe Shoemaker said that his duo did everything necessary to help earn their squad the victory on Tuesday.
"They both played well," said Shoemaker of Morrow and Michelsen. "Michelsen did a lot better job of not throwing up crazy shots tonight. He's starting to recognize what's a good shot and what's not."
Shoemaker said that his guard's shot selection has improved and that Michelsen has been pulling up and taking 'squared up' shots, instead of taking quick 3-pointers.
"If he gets those shots, he'll be a good player for us," Shoemaker said of his guard. "He's also starting to do a good job of dishing (the ball) too."
Shoemaker went on to say that his squad has worked hard the last few days on controlling the ball. On Tuesday it showed positive results.
"It's been a little bit of our focus in practice," he said. "I don't know if we can continue to do this well in a game, but we did a lot better tonight with not turning the ball over. And, we played with intensity."
Outside of Michelsen's 30 points and Morrow's 15, Gabe Kielhofner was the third-leading scorer for the Eagles with nine points.
Brandon Bennett led the Tigers with 14 points. Josh Long added eight and Bixler chipped in with seven.
Risco (1-3) will face Delta C-7 on Friday evening while Oran (2-2) will travel to Scott City.
RISCO (45) -- Josh Long 8, Ross Carter 3, Brandon Bennett 14, Justin Earnheart 5, Kris Walker 4, Luke Bixler 7, Chris Pavy 2, Jeremy Fowler 2. FG 16, FT 7-14, F 16. (3-pointers -- Bennett 3, Long 1, Carter 1, Bixler 1. Fouled out -- none).
ORAN (71) -- Bob Priggel 2, Dylan Adams 2, Preston Scherer 5, Nolan Urhahn 4, Gabe Kielhofner 9, Nathan Michelsen 30, Zac Chasteen 2, Reece Mangels 2, Jon Morrow 15. FG 28, FT 12-25, F 15. (3-pointers -- Michelsen 3. Fouled out -- none).