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Oak Ridge, Notre Dame boys basketball take sixth and ninth at Christmas tourney

Oak Ridge senior Camren Volz scored the 1,000th point of his career in this year’s Christmas Tournament last week at the Show Me Center. He was also named to the all-tournament team. Photo by Jay Forness

Even though Oak Ridge’s boys basketball team was seeded three spots lower than Notre Dame, the Blue Jays finished three spots ahead of the Bulldogs at this year’s 16-team Christmas Tournament held last week at the Show Me Center.

No. 8 seeded Oak Ridge (9-3) topped No. 9 Kelly (5-6) 54-39 in the opening round on Dec. 26, where Blue Jays senior Camren Volz produced a game-high 21 points with five 3-pointers. This was the same game Volz eclipsed 1,000-career points as junior Ty Wilson paced him with 15 points in their team’s 15-point win over the Hawks.

Oak Ridge then fell to the eventual tournament champions and No. 1 seed Cape Central (11-0) as the Tigers won by 57 points with a final score of 96-39 in the quarterfinals on Dec. 27. Seniors Konnor Hobeck and Ahren Fodge were the only Blue Jays to score in double digits with 16 and 11 points, respectively.

Oak Ridge bounced back in the second round with a 66-55 win over No. 12 Scott City (2-8) last Wednesday to reach the fifth-place game of the Christmas Tournament. The Rams upset No. 5 seed Notre Dame (4-6) by nine points at 52-43 in the first round of the tournament.

Against Scott City, both Wilson and Volz managed to have 20-point games with 23 and 22 points, respectively. These two were also Oak Ridge’s leading scorers in the fifth-place game versus No. 7 Woodland.

However, the Cardinals ended up besting the Blue Jays by only three points at 65-62 for Woodland to win the fifth-place title. While Volz and Wilson combined for 36 points with 18 apiece, the Cardinals had the game’s leading scorer in junior Brayden Hastings with 22 points (four 3s).

Volz and Hastings were both selected to the Christmas Tournament’s 10-player all-tournament team.

After Notre Dame was upset by two-win Scott City, the Bulldogs went on a three-game winning streak to take home the Christmas Tournament Consolation Championship (ninth place). The Bulldogs did so in record fashion with a 101-40 win over No. 10 seed Meadow Heights (5-6), where Notre Dame made a single-game, program-record high 17 3-pointers.

Knocking down the most treys for the Bulldogs was sophomore Kolton Johnson with seven for a single-game, career-high 35 points (10 less than the single-game program record). Notre Dame senior Reece Callow paced Johnson with six 3s of his own for 21 points.

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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