(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
ORAN -- The Oran Lady Eagles got quite a scare but were able to hold on and defeat Saxony Lutheran 52-49 to advance to the Class 2, District 3 championship game Thursday night.
After the two teams went back-and-forth for three quarters, Oran looked to have the game in their grasp when Shelbie Seyer hit a 3-pointer, giving the Lady Eagles a 50-42 lead with 1:30 left to play.
"That was huge," Oran coach Adam Friga said of the shot. "We don't hit a lot of threes and she is someone for us who can shoot the ball and she stepped up and hit a big shot."
Saxony didn't fold and got a quick basket from Natalie Mueller, followed by a steal and layup from Brooke Valleroy, making the score 50-46. Valleroy then made another steal and hit one-of-two free throws.
After another Oran turnover, the Lady Eagles saw themselves holding a slim 50-47 lead with just 16 seconds remaining. Saxony Lutheran inbounded the ball at halfcourt and Valleroy penetrated and found Angel Stone underneath for two, cutting the lead to 50-49.
Oran then inbounded the ball but the Crusaders couldn't commit a foul until 3.2 seconds remaining. The foul was only their sixth of the half, causing them to foul Oran's Abbey Anderson with 1.9 seconds remaining.
The Lady Eagle point guard knocked down both free throws, giving Oran a 52-49 lead. Saxony then turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, as Oran sealed the win.
"We didn't have our best game tonight, but give credit to Saxony, they played a great ball game too," Friga said. "One thing we did tonight was we had a couple miscues at the end but we fought through adversity and still took care of business."
Saxony Lutheran led 13-10 after one quarter, but Oran fought back and tied the game at 21-21 at halftime. A main reason the Lady Eagles stayed in the game was the scoring of Cheyanne King. The Oran junior had 14 of her game-high 27 points in the first half.
"Cheyanne does lead us and she was huge for us, but I thought in the second half some other kids stepped up and helped out too," Friga said. "We talked at halftime that our guards needed to get more involved in the game with dribble penetration and things and they did their job in the second half."
Haley Glastetter came out on fire in the third quarter, scoring seven of her 10 points in the frame, helping Oran take a 36-33 lead heading into the final quarter.
While she wasn't scoring a lot of points, Claire Seyer also was making her presence felt as she was pulling down rebound after rebound and creating havoc on the defensive end.
"I'm not a big scorer, I like to do my work on the defensive end," Seyer said.
The senior grabbed 11 rebounds on the night and also dished out five assists to go along with her four points.
"(Claire's) never going to score a lot but I've had her for three years and she is the best defender and rebounder we have," Friga said. "She's a great, do-it-all player and she played real well tonight."
With the win, Oran improves to 10-12 and will face Meadow Heights in the championship game Thursday night at 6 p.m.
"(Meadow Heights) is going to bring a lot of pressure and it is going to be a physical game and we really enjoy playing them," Friga said. "They are a good team and they are well-coached and it's going to be a battle."
SAXONY LUTHERAN (49) -- Brooke Valleroy 9, Kelsey Jones 4, Angel Stone 2, Abby Hartmann 17, Natalie Mueller 10, Lauren Hecht 7. FG 23, FT 2-6, F 15. (3-pointers: Hecht 1. Fouled out: Hartmann).
ORAN (52) -- Shelbie Seyer 3, Abbey Anderson 2, Claire Seyer 4, Shelby Unger 2, Haley Glastetter 10, Taylor Irwin 4, Cheyanne King 27. FG 20, FT 11-18, F 9. (3-pointers: S. Seyer 1. Fouled out: none).
Meadow Heights 57,
The Chaffee Lady Devils saw their season come to an end on Monday night at the hands of Meadow Heights, 57-21.
The game was tied at 3-3 early in the first when Meadow Heights finished the quarter on a 12-0 run with several of the Lady Panther baskets coming off of offensive rebounds. Meadow Heights dominated the glass, outrebounding Chaffee 46-16 in the game.
"We did not rebound the basketball very well tonight at all," said Chaffee coach Tyson Moyers. "The first half that really hurt us. It got us out of the flow and out of the game and we were trying to play catch up."
Despite having leading scorer and starting point guard Anna Ayers on the bench for the majority of the second quarter with three fouls, Chaffee played even with Meadow Heights and only trailed 26-14 at halftime.
"I thought we competed real well in the second quarter," Moyers said. "We started moving the ball a little better. With Anna in, everybody looks to her to create with the basketball and we weren't standing around looking at her, we were moving."
With Ayers on the bench, freshman Adrienne Eichhorn took over the ball handling duties for Chaffee and did an admirable job, also knocking down two 3-pointers in the quarter.
"I thought Adrienne (Eichhorn) did an awesome job when Anna went out with those three fouls," Moyers said. "She came out and handled the basketball and did some good things and didn't panic. That is a pretty big spot for a freshman to come in. She got tired but now she understands what Anna has went through all year long."
The third quarter spelled doom for Chaffee as Meadow Heights outscored the Lady Devils 24-3 and put the game well out of reach.
"It was a physical game and (Meadow Heights) plays really physical," Moyers said. "I only have seven girls and when they are running two or three in at a time and I am playing six kids for an entire half, that wears on you. That second half we were just tired."
Whitney Welker scored 16 points off the bench to lead Meadow Heights while Erin Bollman added 10.
Chaffee was led in scoring by Eichhorn and Ayers who both finished with six points apiece. Chaffee finishes the season with a 5-18 record and will lose seniors Ayers and Taylor Kirchdoerfer but return a wealth of experience next season.
"We start two freshman, a junior and those two seniors and sophomore Sienna Miller got a lot of playing time too," Moyers said. "That is huge getting experience for those kids."
CHAFFEE (21) -- Randi Wiley 4, Adrienne Eichhorn 6, Taylor Kirchdoerfer 3, Anna Ayers 6, Elli Sigman 2. FG 8, FT 2-13, F 16. (3-pointers: Eichhorn 2. Fouled out: Wiley).
MEADOW HEIGHTS (57) -- Mica Morse 1, Hattie Cook 6, Erin Bollman 10, Gina Cureton 2, Heather Dietiker 9, Whitney Welker 16, Taylor Cureton 4, Chancey Elfrink 2, Jillian Mills 7. FG 23, FT 8-13, F 16. (3-pointers: Cook 2, Dietiker 1. Fouled out: none).