HALFTIME: Crane 28, Oran 27
Jacob Shoemaker knocked down a right corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring Oran within one point at the break of the Class 2 boys state championship. Max Priggel leads the Eagles with 14 points.
Crane scored the first six points of the game and also led 8-2 early. But Oran overcame that slow start and ended the period on a 13-5 run to take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter.
Crane led by as much as four in the second quarter, but Shoemaker's 3-pointer cut the deficit to one.
Tyler Campbell leads Crane with seven points.
The Oran-Crane Class 2 boys basketball state championship game is less an hour away, so here's a quick preview. It's the Eagles' first title game appearance since 1969.
Earlier today, Advance boys lost in the final to Walnut Grove 65-62. Oran girls fell in the third-place last game to Scotland County on Friday, so this is the last game at state involving a SEMO team.
Oran enters the matchup 22-8 while Crane is 20-10. The Eagles defeated Sacred Heart 64-59 in the semifinal Thursday. Crane beat Harrisburg 59-51 in the second semifinal.
Crane's leading scorer is senior Dalton Hayes. The 5-foot-11 guard is averaging 13.3 points per game but had just six against Harrisburg as he fouled out. Colton Elder is the second-leading scorer with 10. 1 ppg.
Senior Max Priggel leads Oran with 19.7 points per game, and Jacob Shoemaker averages 15.7 ppg.
Follow @semoball, @semoballJosh, @semoballPhillip, and @WhitakerPhotos for updates throughout the game. Also, check back at halftime and at the end of the game for updates to the live blog.
FINAL: Walnut Grove 65, Advance 62
Advance fell just short of its first state championship since 1975 as Walnut Grove hit two crucial free throws late and held the Hornets to 7-for-27 shooting in the second half (25.9 percent) in the Class 1 boys state title game.
It's the Tigers' first-ever boys basketball state title. Logan Thomazin led the way with a double-double. He had a game-high 31 points on 10-for-24 shooting and added 10 rebounds. Hunter Gilkey stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, nine rebounds, eight steals and seven assists. He also had seven turnovers.
Hornets junior guard Armani Vermillion had 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including 18 in the first half. He had 63 points in Advance's two games at state.
With 42 seconds remaining, Advance senior Preston Wuebker hit a 3-pointer to knot the game at 62 apiece. Seconds later, Michael Hood was called for a foul. Thomazin then knocked down the two ensuing free throws.
The Hornets had two 3-point attempts, sandwiched in between a Tigers missed free throw, but neither shot fell. Off Advance's last miss with five seconds left, Thomazin grabbed the rebound. He strolled to the free-throw line with 0.4 seconds left and hit the first free throw. When he missed the second attempt, he got the offensive board to seal the win and state championship.
HALFTIME: Advance 42, Walnut Grove 37
After 16 fast-paced minutes, Advance holds a two-possession lead thanks to 18 points from Armani Vermillion and 9 for 12 shooting in the second quarter.
There didn't appear to be any offensive jitters with either of these teams. Both squads came out firing. The score after one quarter was 24-20 Walnut Grove.
With both teams pressing and moving the ball quickly down the court, the game resembled a track meet at times. Walnut Grove looked to create offense almost exclusively off the pick-and-roll and dribble penetration. Despite little inside presence, the Tigers pulled down seven offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Hornets 20-14
Logan Thomazin had 16 points for Walnut Grove and Hunter Gilkey added 12.
Vermillion's 18 points were complemented by 11 points from Michael Hood.
The Hornets are now 16 minutes away from a Class 1 boys state championship.
It's state championship day, baby. Both Advance and Oran boys basketball have a shot to win a state title today in Columbia, Missouri.. Advance tips off first at 11 a.m. and will face Walnut Grove.
Advance beat North Andrew 69-63 in the semifinal Thursday. You can read the game story here. Walnut Grove defeated Glasgow 69-63.
Oran will face off against Crane at 6:20 p.m. The Eagles beat Sacred Heart 64-59 in the semifinal Thursday to end a half-century title game drought.
Follow @semoball, @semoballJosh, @semoballPhillip, and @WhitakerPhotos for updates throughout the game. Also, we'll be providing updates at semoball on Instagram. And of course, check back with this blog as the day progresses.
Happy state day!