Poplar Bluff hit 73 percent of their shots in the first half of a 75-58 win over New Madrid County Central.
"If we didn't shoot it well, the way we guarded we may have been in trouble," Mules coach John David Pattillo said. "Because there was some instances where we let them run by us and I was a little disappointed in that."
The Mules (14-6, 3-0 SEMO) built an eight-point halftime lead as junior Tyler Hansbrough scored seven of his game-high 27 points in the second quarter. Hansbrough also finished with 10 rebounds while younger brother Ben added 17 points and seven assists.
New Madrid (6-12, 1-3) got 19 points from Brandon Waters while Malcom Long chipped in 12 as the Eagles shot 61.5 percent from the field but was 5-of-13 during the second quarter.
"You've got to hit some shots and we didn't do that," Central coach Scott Kruse said. "I would have like to seen a few of our shots fall."
Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the first quarter, missing a combined two shots while another was blocked, and the game was tied 18-all at the first horn.
Poplar Bluff opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run and never looked back.
"They've got a lot of weapons, everyone talks about Tyler, but when you're looking out there on the floor you see all those people that can put the ball in the hole," Kruse said.
Anthony Gilberto finished with 12 points, hitting all five shots before leaving with an ankle injury in the third quarter.
An ankle injury kept 6-foot-4 senior Vaughn Shepherd on the New Madrid bench while 6-4 Edgar Givens and 6-5 Terrance Wilson joined him with three early fouls apiece.
Tyler Hansbrough was 13-for-16 at the free throw line, hitting more than New Madrid attempted as a team.
"Four quarters is a big battle against that team," Kruse said.
The Eagles led by three in the first quarter but needed Long's floater just before the buzzer to tie the game.
After a bucket by Glen Yandell to open the second quarter, Tyler Hansbrough picked up a steal and later dunked one home on an entry pass from Gilberto.
Joseph Howell's putback with 4:58 left in the half was the first bucket for the Eagles in the second quarter. New Madrid didn't get another shot from the field to fall until Waters scored from the low block with 1:09 left.
Still, that cut Poplar Bluff's lead to four but Devon Brown answered with a 3 from the wing while Gilberto knocked down another behind the arc for a 35-27 halftime lead.
Poplar Bluff led by 10 for the first time on Ben Hansbrough's 3-pointer with 5:25 left in the third quarter. The Mules led 52-40 heading into the fourth quarter while Tyler Hansbrough's putback dunk pushed the lead to 16.
"We've come a long way and we still have a long way to go and they know it," Kruse said. "We're planning on getting better in just two more days much less three weeks."
Poplar Bluff won the first meeting this season by 21 points at the Sikeston Tournament playing without their 6-9 all-state center who is averaging 26.6 points a game.