Aaron Graham...ran for 267 yards and four touchdowns against Grain Valley. On the season, the senior tailback has 1583 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns. He is averaging 10.1 yards per carry. photo by Kory Hales
Panthers take lunch pail, bring home Four-Mile trophy
The Panthers entered Friday night's contest at Grain Valley as an unranked team for the first time all season after their loss last week to Harrisonville.
But Oak Grove did not play like an unranked team. In fact, Grain Valley warmed up in their home blue jerseys, but when they took the field just before kickoff, they were decked out in black jerseys and black pants. Fitting, because the Eagles had to be black and blue after the 54-7 whooping they received from the Panthers.
Panthers rolled down the field on their first two possessions in impressive, hard-hitting fashion and planted the football in the end zone.
Landon Cairer scored the first touchdown on a three-yard run.
Aaron Graham did the honors on Oak Grove's second drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Scott Jones made both extra points to give the Panthers a quick 14-0 lead.
Oak Grove made it 21-0 just before the end of the first quarter when Zach Hipsher caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Blackston, who was scrambling to his right and threw the ball back across his body into traffic to the big, sure-handed receiver in the end zone. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Panthers compete at Excelsior Springs Invite
The Excelsior Springs Cross Country Invitational took place October 7. The girls division was made up of four teams and was easily won by Notre Dame de Sion with 17 points. Smithville, 59, Pleasant Hill, 67, and Platte County, 98, completed the team standings. Smithville won the 12-team boys division with 57 points. Pleasant Hill, 84, and Chillicothe, 96, completed the top three. Oak Grove placed 10th with 240 points.
Cassidy Skistimas was one of two Oak Grove runners in the varsity girls race. She scored a 12th place finish with a time of 22:38.1. Emily Craig crossed the finish line 38th, stopping the clock at 25:44.3. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Panthers lose in double overtime
One night after picking up a 2-1 win over Cameron on the road, Oak Grove soccer team took to the road again October 7, paying a visit to Pleasant Hill.
Panthers held a 2-0 lead in the second half after getting goals from Austin Holtorf and Tyler Bright but could not hang on for the win. Roosters put the ball in the net in the 50th minute then tied the game in the 73rd to force overtime.
After the first overtime went scoreless, Pleasant Hill scored the eventual game winner in the 91st minute to score a 3-2 win. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Lady Panthers fall to Boonville in district finals
Rain made getting in the Class 3 District 14 softball tournament in Odessa difficult last week.
After fifth seeded Marshall defeated fourth seeded Odessa 8-7 in eight innings October 8, the next two days of the tournament were canceled because of rain. The last two scheduled days of action were condensed into one on Saturday as the semifinals and finals were all contested within a few hours.
Top seeded Boonville used a three-run second and a five-run fourth to get them going early. Lady Panthers scored once in the third and once in the fourth, but could not mount a big-inning rally. Both of Oak Grove's runs were earned. Five errors by Oak Grove allowed the Lady Pirates to send six unearned runs across home plate.
"It was a disappointing loss for us," said head coach Terry Parker. "There was a lot of excitement after the way we won the semifinal, and we just couldn't carry it over to the final. We stranded a lot of runners, but we continued to play hard and kept fighting after getting down. We're pleased with our season this year, and we look forward to getting going again next year." Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Oak Grove can't avoid the sweep
Oak Grove volleyball team lost to Odessa October 9 in straight sets 22-25, 22-25.
Lady Panthers allowed Odessa to build up a small cushion early in game one when the Lady Bulldogs went on a 4-0 run.
After an Oak Grove timeout, the Lady Panthers could not do much with the deficit until late. Trailing 21-17, Haley Matson recorded a kill which Odessa followed with a hitting error. Dani O'Neill's block found an open spot on the floor to move Oak Grove to within one at 20-21. But a service error immediately followed by an Odessa block for a point moved the Lady Bulldogs back up by three. Oak Grove scored the next two points on Odessa miscues but could not get the game tied.
Lady Bulldogs closed out the game one win with a kill for point 24 and a lift for point 25.
Oak Grove got off slowly in game two and found themselves down 4-10 and 13-20 prior to timeouts. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Sloppy play results in senior night loss
Oak Grove softball team ended the regular season at home against Grain Valley. Rain forced the game to be moved from its original date on October 2 to October 7, just one day before the start of the district tournament.
Lady Eagles scored the game's first four runs. In the sixth they added four more. Lady Panthers didn't plate their first run until the bottom of the third. After adding another in the fifth, Oak Grove made a run in the bottom of the sixth but could only push three runs across. Final score was 8-5. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Volleyball team breezes past Van Horn
Oak Grove continued its winning ways on Monday with a sweep of Van Horn 25-21, 25-9.
Callie Tripp's seven kills was a team high. Sierra Smith and Dani O'Neill each finished with six. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Oak Grove places second at Clinton Tournament
Oak Grove's trip to the one-day, eight-team Clinton Tournament Saturday was a memorable one. Lady Panthers played good volleyball all day, advanced to the championship match and finished second.
"The girls played really well," commented head coach Lori Klaus. "We were missing Sierra Smith all day because she was at all-district choir. Callie Tripp left after the second game in pool play because of band. But the girls came together without those two starters and played great as a team and put themselves in the championship match. We just came up a little short."
Lady Panthers defeated Harrisonville 22-25, 25-15, 25-23 in the opening match of pool play. Oak Grove then took down Raytown South in straight sets 25-13, 25-12. In their final match of pool play, the Lady Panthers lost to Nevada 12-25, 17-25. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Volleyball team wins over Excelsior Springs
In their first meeting of the season on September 18, Oak Grove volleyball team needed three games to earn the win over Excelsior Springs. On October 7, it took three games again. And for the second time it was the Lady Panthers who were victorious 25-21, 22-25, 25-20.
"It was back and forth all night. Neither team could really get a run going," head coach Lori Klaus said. "I felt like our passing struggled a little bit, but we were able to overcome that and win a close one. With not much left in our season and districts right around the corner, I hope we can come out strong against Odessa and be at the top of our game all next week." Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.