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Oak Ridge boys basketball finishes as runner-up in Scott-Miss Tournament

Oak Ridge senior Konnor Hobeck drives against East Prairie senior Rafe Byassee in the Scott-Miss Conference Tournament Championship Game on Saturday night at Oak Ridge. Photo by Jay Forness

Last week on its home court, the Oak Ridge boys basketball team advanced to the Scott-Miss Conference Tournament Championship Game for the first time in more than a decade.

The Blue Jays (18-4) earned the No. 1 seed after winning the regular-season title by going undefeated in conference play prior to the tournament.

Oak Ridge handled No. 8 seeded Scott County Central (2-10) by 32 points at 77-45 in the first round on Jan. 28, followed up by a 46-39 win over No. 4 Kelly (11-11) in the semifinals on Friday.

This setup Saturday’s championship game for the Blue Jays with No. 2 seed East Prairie (17-5), which Oak Ridge defeated by nearly 20 points in the regular season at 67-51 Dec. 16.

The script would flip this time around, though, as the Eagles took home this year’s Scott-Miss Conference Tournament title with a 63-48 win over the Blue Jays.

Both teams had two double-digit scorers in the contest as Oak Ridge junior Ty Wilson led the way with a team-high 17 points. Pacing Wilson for the Blue Jays was senior Konnor Hobeck at 11 points as he knocked down a team-high three 3-pointers.

Oak Ridge only had two other players finish with more than one field goal in seniors Tyler Bishop and Camren Volz, who scored eight and five points, respectively.

After trailing 21-16 in the first quarter, Hobeck knocked down two 3s from the top of the key in the second quarter. This was the same eight minutes where Volz, who also took two charges, scored four of his points to help the Blue Jays regain the lead.

Bishop and Hobeck both made some crucial shots to keep Oak Ridge in the game for most of the second half, as did Wilson who made it a five-point game following a successful and-1 opportunity.

East Prairie’s scoring attack proved to be too much, though, as Eagles senior Wyatt Williams produced a game-high 20 points, while sophomore Connor Marcum finished with 13 of his own.

East Prairie had five other players that produced five or more points as sophomore Noah Johnson and junior Kamron Farmer each recorded seven.

Much like in the championship game, Wilson and Hobeck led Oak Ridge in scoring throughout the Scott-Miss Conference Tournament by averaging 13.7 and 11 points per game, respectively.

Scoring the most points in the blowout of Scott County Central was junior Karson Ward, who hit three trays for a game-high 18 points. Wilson produced 16 points in the game, while Hobeck had 14 (two 3s) and senior Ahren Fodge scored 11.

In Oak Ridge’s third win of the season over Kelly, Volz recorded a team-high 13 points and made three 3-pointers. Bishop paced him with nine points, while Wilson and Hobeck combined for 16 points with eight apiece.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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