Deja vu haunts Oran girls basketball in loss to Scotland County in Class 2 third-place game

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Oran basketball team watch from the bench during the Class 2 third place girls game between Oran and Scotland County Friday, March 10, 2017 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Scotland won 49-41.
Andrew J. Whitaker ~ Southeast Missourian

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For Oran girls basketball coach Ethan Evans, Friday night seemed eerily similar to Thursday.

Once again, the Eagles struggled to hit shots. This time, it was in the MSHSAA Class 2 third-place game, not the semifinal. But the result was the same: a defeat.

Oran fell 49-41 to Scotland County at Mizzou Arena on Friday night, going 10 for 42 (23.8 percent) from the field, a day after shooting 26.5 percent in a loss to Adrian.

"It seemed a little bit like deja vu all over again except this time it wasn't easy shots we missed," Evans said. "It was more contested, harder shots. We just kind of went stone cold again in the third quarter. Their defense had a lot do with it. They switched it up from what they were playing in the first half.

Mackenzie Graviett of Oran and Ashleigh Creek of Scotland County fight for the ball during the Class 2 third place girls game between Oran and Scotland County Friday, March 10, 2017 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Scotland won 49-41.
Andrew J. Whitaker ~ Southeast Missourian

"It kind of went to a more of a zone at first and then the box on Leah (Cauble) after that. And we struggled to get her open and get open shots."

Oran (27-5), which lost consecutive games for the first time all season, scored 13 points in the second half, including three in the third quarter.

Leah Cauble scored a team-high 18 points, but only one in the second half. The sophomore finished the season with 1,056 points, which is the fourth-highest single-season scoring mark in Missouri state history.

Scotland County guard Calesse Bair poured in 17 points, including 14 in the second half, and grabbed nine rebounds.

After going 9 of 32 from the field in the first two quarters (28.1 percent), the Tigers were 8 of 19 from the field in the final two quarters (42.1 percent).

Center Chelsea Wood complemented Bair with a double-double. She had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Experience was again a factor. Scotland County (28-2), like Adrian, starts four seniors. Oran starts one and has two upperclassmen on its roster.

Like Thursday, Oran made a run in the second quarter and opened up a double-digit lead. Again, the seasoned opponent weathered the storm and ended the half on a lengthy run to cut the gap to a reasonable amount entering the break.

This time, Wood's return sparked the resurgence. Wood picked up her third foul with 6 minutes, 55 seconds remaining in the second quarter and sat until the 1:58 mark. Her re-appearance marked the start of a 14-1 run that extended into the second half.

"I was kind of shocked to see her back out there with three fouls in the second quarter," Evans said. "We were trying to get to the point where we could go at her and have her pick up her fourth, but she's definitely a beast in the post.

"She's a pretty strong girl. Really gets after it. Alters our shots as well when we try to penetrate into the paint."

It was 28-22 Oran at halftime, but the lead evaporated quickly behind that 14-1 Tigers run.

Senior Brianna Stause briefly gave Oran the lead back at 31-30 with a 3-pointer with 5:06 left in third but those were the Eagles' only points of the quarter.

"They kind of got up and got after us and trapped in the corners more there in the third quarter," Evans said. "I saw them do that on tape but they hadn't so far. Just a little bit of pressure and then once again our youth showed."

Scotland County outscored Oran 13-3 in the third period. The fourth quarter wasn't much better for the Eagles' offense as they mustered 10 points with Scotland County using a box-and-one defense on Cauble.

A four-point deficit heading into the final period only got bigger and bigger. Oran never got to within single digits in the final eight minutes as Scotland County limited Cauble.

Leah Cauble of Oran reaches to block the ball during the Class 2 third place girls game between Oran and Scotland County Friday, March 10, 2017 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Scotland won 49-41.
Andrew J. Whitaker ~ Southeast Missourian

"That's where all the focus went," Tigers coach Cory Shultz said of Cauble. "We knew going in, and I think we underestimated how good she really was. She is a player.

"The second half, we made a good adjustment, we boxed-and-one her. Someone was touching her at all times. That's what we had to do."

Oran was 4 of 22 from the field in the final two quarters (18.2 percent).

For Stause, it was a bitter end to a memorable final season. She was a starter for an Oran team that advanced to its first-ever quarterfinal and semifinal this year.

For the rest of the team, they have the future to look forward.

But as Cauble and Evans again sat on the podium late Friday night and answered questions about another defeat, this time accompanied by Claire Ramsey, it did seem like deja vu.

Evans opened his remarks with a comment about Thursday, and for that moment, with the start of next season months away, the past seemed easier to grasp than the future.

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SCOTLAND COUNTY (49) —Calesse Bair 17, Abi Feeney 11, Ashleigh Creek 1, Chelsea Wood 14, Maddie Brassfield 3, Kaylyn Anders 3. FG 17. FT 10-17. F 20. (3-pointers: Bair 4, Anders. Fouled out: None.)

ORAN (41) — Brianna Stause 8, Kaylee Payne 9, Leah Cauble 18, Jessie Long 4, Mackenzie Graviett 2. FG 10. FT 17-20. F 14. (3-pointers: Stause 2, Cauble 2. Fouled out: None.)

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