Another big fourth quarter kept Oblong High School's winning streak alive Friday night (Feb. 2).
The Panthers rallied late to pick up their fifth straight win, coming from behind to defeat Tri-County, 46-40, to open Little Okaw Valley Conference Southeast Division play.
"It feels good to get five wins in a row, especially moving into the heart of conference play," OHS head coach Ryan Cheek said. "We are playing ball the way we need to right now. We have just got to stay hungry and focused each game."
Both teams started slow and the Panthers found themselves trailing 7-5 after one quarter. The deficit grew to 23-17 by halftime, but Oblong pulled to within 31-27 at the end of the third quarter. The Panthers then took control in the fourth, outscoring Tri-County 19-9 to pull out the victory.
"We came out a little shaky the first half and rushed our offense and could not find a good rhythm," Cheek said. "We were 1-9 behind the arc the first half. Coming out the second half, we were able to kick it in another gear and find our groove on offense. Defense was solid once again for us."
Nate Meese led OHS with 19 points, while Jarrett Manhart also reached double figures with 10. Kacey Cheek tossed in eight points, Zane Belford scored six and Conner Potts netted three.
"Kacey did not have a good game offensively, but Meese and Manhart were able to step up and take control," Cheek said.
Blake Lee led Tri-County with 10 points, while Jacob Neill scored nine and Mitch Pollock tossed in eight.
In the junior varsity game, Oblong ended up on the short end of a 38-28 decision. Caleb Black led OHS with 12 points, while Potts scored seven.