After three games with sluggish beginnings, the Tigers finally put it together right out of the gate on Tuesday. He didn't really know how it happened, but Fowler's glad their first quarter blues eventually tapered off.
"I'm not really sure what was different," he said. "We've just been starting off slow and we knew we had to pick up the pace in the first quarter. We came out here with that in mind to pick it up and that's what we did."
The Tigers roasted the Oran Eagles 84-44 at Oran High School by dictating an early tempo and torching the nets for 27 first quarter points.
"Our first three games we've played were just the opposite," Risco coach Brandon Blankenship said. "We didn't come out and hit shots early and it seemed like we weren't doing a very good job on defense. But, when we can come out and hit shots it gets our press going and we get to running after that."
Risco (4-0) is fresh off of a Bernie Invitational Tournament championship that their school hasn't won since 1974. That may have been the momentum they needed to start strong out of the gate.
"Winning that tournament maybe gave us a lot of confidence," Blankenship said. "I think we just made sure to get good shots and knocking them down. We've been doing a lot of shooting drills and we're trying to get into a little bit better of a rhythm.
As quick as a hiccup, the Tigers were ahead of the home team 18-3. Fowler scored 10 of Risco's first 18 points by knocking down 2 of 3 3-pointers that quarter. Luke Bixler added seven and Chris Pavy chipped in with six to give the Tigers a 27-7 advantage at the end of a Risco-heavy first quarter.
"We lost to a good team," Oran coach Joe Shoemaker said. "They shot the lights out and we started shooting poorly from the beginning and it just built on that from there."
The Eagles, who had 23 turnovers on the night, had the ball stolen away seven times that quarter, which led to transition baskets for the Tigers. Risco pressured the ball with little intentions of actually swiping the ball away, they rather settled for tips and loose balls that were recovered by the Tigers, in most cases.
"We're not necessarily looking for steals," Blankenship said. "We're just trying to get our hands on the ball and maybe somebody else pick it up and go. It snowballs for us when we do those things."
The Eagles were once again hounded by Risco in the second frame, but managed to narrow the gap to 21 points after a basket by Alex Heuring, who led the Eagles with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Tigers, however, led 46-21 at the half.
"We had way too many turnovers," said Shoemaker. "They tipped a lot of basketballs and they controlled the tempo very well. That got us out of sync."
Completely putting the game out of reach, Risco poured in 32 points in the third quarter giving themselves a 35-point cushion with 4:26 remaining in the quarter. Risco's starters, who combined for 68 points, were pulled from the game after that and received a grand applause from the Tiger faithful.
Risco, who had five players in double figures and eight players score all together, went up 78-35 at the end of the third.
"I think even more people should have double digits on our team," Fowler said. "No doubt about it. We've got a lot of guys that can score."
Matt Cumins, who scored 11 points for Risco, and Hunter Knight each had six rebounds for the Tigers.
"They have several guys that can play and you just couldn't key on one or two because they have six or seven guys that can fill it up," Shoemaker said.
Oran's Kody Moore and Seth Ressell scored nine points for the Eagles. Moore added eight rebounds and two blocks while Ressell snared five boards.
Oran will travel to Scott City on Friday to take on the 2-2 Rams at 6 p.m.
RISCO (84) -- Chris Pavy 14, Luke Bixler 17, Jeremey Fowler 18, Austin White 15, Hunter Knight 4, Caleb McCord 3, Matt Cumins 11, Josh Earnheart 2. FG 34 FT 8-10 F 17 (3-pointers: Bixler 2, Fowler 4, White 1, McCord 1. Fouled out: none.)
ORAN (44) -- Kody Moore 9, Seth Ressell 9, Payton Kern 2, Alex Heuring 12, Blake Henson 7, Adam Schaefer 5. FG 19 FT 3-12 F 12 (3-pointers: Moore 1, Ressell 1, Schaefer 1. Fouled out: none.)