(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
ORAN -- In their final tuneup before the postseason, the Oran Eagles fought back from an early fourth-deficit on Thursday to hold off the Kelly Hawks for a 75-66 senior night win.
"The goal going in is getting a 'W' on senior night," Oran head coach Joe Shoemaker said. "Our seniors have given a lot to the program. They've played hard all four years so I was proud of them and glad we got a win for them tonight."
After a tightly-contested first three quarters, the Eagles found themselves trailing 51-47 in the opening minute of the fourth when Kelly's Jeff Gates hit his third 3-pointer of the night.
Answering on their next trip down the court, Oran closed back within a point when Seth Ressel connected from behind the arc to open up an 11-0 Eagle rally.
Ressel connected on a pair of free throws in the run while Kody Moore hit a pair of 3-pointers to put Oran up 58-51 with 5:10 to play.
"They extended their pressure a little more," Hawks' head coach Josh Eftink said. "Once we got a few points behind we really started to push the ball and that's not our style and when you get behind you almost have to speed things up in the fourth quarter a little bit to get back in it. That made it get a little uglier than it should have been."
Fighting back, Kelly got a couple quick baskets from Ian Householder and Gabe Felter in just over a minute to close back to within three, at 58-55, heading into the final four minutes of the game.
With Kelly's shots suddenly coming up short, however, Oran was able to push back ahead 64-58, which allowed the Eagles to turn into clock-killing mode in the final few minutes.
Forced to foul, Kelly watched Oran connect on 7 of their final 10 free throw attempts while adding a couple open buckets to seal the win.
"We had the ball, for the most part, in the right people's hands and hit free throws," Shoemaker said. "It's good to see those guys hit those free throws. The guys played well late, but we have to be more consistent. We're going to have to play better defense and rebound."
With four players posting double-digit scoring totals, Oran was led by Ressel with 18 points on the night. He had one 3-pointer while going 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. Schaefer and Alex Heuring had 16 and 12 points respectively while Kody Moore added 11 points to the Eagle's cause.
"Kody Moore is a real competitor," said Shoemaker. "He hit a couple of shots (in the fourth), but one thing that really impressed me is he turned his defense up.
"I thought Adam Schaefer, on of our seniors, stepped up tonight and played really aggressive and really hard."
For the Hawks, Householder had a game-high 20 points while Gates contributed 15 in the contest, including hitting three of the team's nine 3-pointers. Aaron Grainger had 10 points and Gabe Felter 8.
"We got open shots and were knocking them down early on," Eftink said. "In the first three quarters we were doing well and not turning the ball over. Our ball handling was pretty good tonight, that's what kept us in the game.
"There at the end Oran just stepped it up and started knocking some more shots down and really hit the offensive rebounds too."
KELLY (66) -- Gaven Ray 5, Aaron Grainger 10 Trey Walker 3, Dustin Schwartz 3, Brent Forck 2, Jeff Gates 15, Ian Householder 20, Gabe Felter 8. FG 24 FT 9-13 F 20 (3-pointers: Ray 1, Grainger 2, Walker 1, Schwartz 1, Gates 3, Householder 1. Fouled out: Ray.)
ORAN (75) -- Kody Moore 11, Seth Ressel 18, Payton Kern 2, Alex Heuring 12, Blake Henson 8, Adam Schaefer 16, Hunter Schlosser 8. FG 24 FT 22-34 F 14 (3-pointers: Moore 3, Ressel 1, Schaefer 1. Fouled out: none.)
ORAN -- The Kelly Lady Hawks closed out the regular season on Thursday with a 54-33 win over the Oran Lady Eagles.
"I'm so proud of my girls," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter said. "Our seniors have led us all year and to come out and win this game just makes me happy because this is our 12th win of the year.
"We have 10 freshman on our team and to win that many with as young as we are says a lot about our seniors Karlie Ashcraft and Bridgette Chandler."
Led by 16 points from Logan Ivie, the Lady Hawks held Oran to six points in each of the first three quarters and jumped out to a 30-12 lead at the half. In putting up 18 points in the third quarter Kelly was able to take a 30-point advantage heading into the fourth.
"We played hard and that's all you can ask from them," Lady Eagles' head coach Jeremy Brinkmeyer said. "The only thing a coach can control is how hard they play and we had a lot of heart.
"I appreciate the effort and hopefully we can turn that effort in to a win on Saturday at districts."
Leading Oran, who carries a roster of only five girls, was Addie Kielhofner with 15 points while Taylor Nenninger contributed 8.
KELLY (54) -- Samantha Ratledge 5, Tessa Johnson 7, Bridgette Chandler 8, Stephanie Worth 2, Karlie Ashcraft 6, Logan Ivie 16, Payton Jones 8, Jessica Worth 2. FG 23, FT 5-6, F 13. (3-pointers: Johnson 1. Fouled out: none.)
ORAN (33) -- Anna Jones 2, Addie Kielhofner 15, Taylor Nenninger 8, Allie Cummins 3, Chrissy Sauceda 5. FG 13, FT 6-12, F 9. (3-pointers: Cummins 1. Fouled out: none.)