(Brent Shipman/Standard Democrat)
Holding the Cubs scoreless the first seven minutes of the second half, Oran was able to build up a 30-point lead by the fourth quarter before cruising to a 68-32 turbo-clocked win.
"I didn't think we defended and rebounded like we needed to in the first half," Eagles' head coach Joe Shoemaker said. "That's something we discussed at halftime and I thought we did a better job of that in the second half. We shared the ball and found the hot hand."
Oran (14-7) may not have finished the half like Shoemaker had hoped, but their start to the game ensured they were still in control heading into the locker room.
Wth 2:14 left in the first quarter the Eagles had already taken a commanding 21-4 lead.
Bell City (9-11) was able to halt their slide with a 6-2 run to end the quarter. With 4:23 left in the half they cut their deficit down to a eight points on a Bobby Wright three.
An 11-2 run to end the half put the Eagles' lead back out to 17 points, 40-23.
"We got out early off some turnovers and then I thought we got a little complacent there in the second quarter," Shoemaker said. "We were a step late on some things and they made adjustments. We didn't adjust well enough at the end of the second quarter to them."
Any problems the Eagles were having to end the first half were long gone to start the third quarter.
Oran completely shutout the Cubs for over seven minutes to open the second half while the Eagles scored 13 straight points. A pair of Jacob Shoemaker free throws with 42 seconds remaining pushed their advantage to 53-23.
Shortly after, Cole Nichols scored from the paint to end Bell City's drought with 30 seconds left in the quarter but a Max Priggel basket before the buzzer sent Oran into the fourth up 56-25.
The turbo-clock quickly burned through the fourth quarter with the Eagles going up by as many as 40 points.
"I didn't feel we closed the second quarter well and I was happy with the way they responded," Joe Shoemaker said. "I think the Nichols kid is a little under the weather for Bell City. You could tell a little bit out there tonight, but I was proud of our guys."
Priggel led the Eagles with a game-high 28 points, hitting all six of his team's 3-pointers and sinking all four free throw attempts.
Layne Johnson was second on the team with 12 points.
"Max is knocking shots down," Joe Shoemaker said. "I told him in the locker room he needs to thank his teammates for getting him the ball and his teammates need to thank him for hitting shots. It makes the game easier."
For the Cubs, Wright's 12 points were a team high. Nichols and Chase Dembowski scored six points each.
"We're dealing with a lot of sickness and injuries," Bell City head coach CJ Hadley said. "I feel like Oran came out with more energy than we did. I know it was their homecoming and I told the guys they were going to be pumped and ready to play. They beat us to every loose ball and played harder than us tonight."
BELL CITY (32) -- Chase Dembowski 6, Logan Yates 4, Cole Nichols 6, Austin Hicks 2, Bobby Wright 14. FG 12, FT 5-8, F 13. (3-pointers: Dembowski 2, Wright 1. Fouled out: none.)
ORAN (68) -- Max Priggel 28, Todd Priggel 5, Luke Barnes 2, Layne Johnson 12, Jacob Shoemaker 7, Cole Priggel 6, Drew Reischman 6, Peyton McVay 2. FG 25, FT 10-14, F 15. (3-pointers: Priggel 6. Fouled out: none.)