Oran Boy's Basketball Notes: Return of senior boosts Eagle run

Oran's Todd Priggel shoots over Skyline's Bradyn Porter (4) and Jaytin DeFreece (10) in a Class 2 semifinal game Friday at the Hammons Student Center in Springfield.
David Jenkins ~ Standard Democrat

SPRINGFIELD - In early January, no one within the Oran boy’s basketball program knew for sure if the Eagles would be playing at this stage of the season, and it certainly was questionable whether senior forward Todd Priggel would be.

Priggel had injured his foot during the Christmas Tournament and had surgery in late December.

“Number one,” veteran Oran coach Joe Shoemaker said, “he’s a good kid. He has great character. The leadership that he brought to us, off the court, is always more important than on the court.”

Priggel rehabbed his way back onto the playing floor and returned in late February.

He didn’t shoot the ball well Friday (he was 1 of 6 from the floor), but Shoemaker said there wouldn’t have been a Friday if not for Priggel’s return.

“On the court,” Shoemaker said, “his ball-handling, rebounding and assists, his leadership on the floor, I’m not sure we make it here without him returning.”

Priggel and junior guard Langdon Scheeter each led the Eagles Friday with seven rebounds and three assists.

Familiar place

The Oran followers were limited to 150 in attendance Friday due to the COVID-19 policy in place by MSHSAA, but the Eagle fans are well-educated in reaching this level of basketball.

Oran finished second in the state a year ago after winning the state championship in 2017.

The Eagles won District titles in each of the last four years.

“We’ve been playing good for so long,” Priggel said. “We always expected to be here. We never expect to lose. We always want to win.”

Shoemaker wouldn’t take anything away from Skyline, but he is already looking forward to next season and would like the full Eagle Nation to be able to attend the semifinals a year from now.

“I felt sorry for the people that didn’t get to make it back home,” Shoemaker said. “I challenged our guys in the locker room to get back here next year so we can bring our faithful with us.

“We have great community support. It doesn’t matter what we do, the gym is always full.”

Senior finale

Priggel was one of three Eagle seniors, Tyson Goodale and Kaiden Massey being the others, that played their final game for Oran.

Goodale went out with a bang.

He not only scored a team-high 21 points Friday, but he had a senior season to remember.

The 6-foot-1 athlete won the Fan Choice Most Valuable Player Award at the Christmas Tournament and ended his career averaging 20 points and nearly seven rebounds per game. He shot an amazing 66.4 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from 3-point range. However, what he said he would take from this season was memories of others.

“I’ll remember being able to come back up here (to the semifinals) again,” Goodale said. “My brothers and (coach Shoemaker). I appreciate them a lot. Also the community for coming up here and supporting us.”

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