"The kids are hungry," said Scott Central coach Melvin Porter. "They want it. You can see how much harder they are playing and how much faster we're getting up and down the court."
Everybody got involved for Scott Central as five players finished in double figures. Chris Pullen led the way with 19 points, followed by Chris Monroe with 16, Jeremy Johnson with 14, Andrew Pullen with 12 and Josh Boley with 10.
"Chris Monroe came in and stepped up," said Porter. "He played really well off the bench. Daniel Holman also did a good job. We knew before the season we were going to get a lot of playing time out of our bench. Tonight, we didn't lose a beat."
The Braves (1-0) took advantage of their athleticism, beating Kelly down the court for several easy layups. Scott Central simply inbounded the ball and threw a baseball pass the length of the court on several occasions.
"We worked on getting back on defense for two weeks," said Kelly coach Nick Lanpher. "Tonight, they didn't comprehend."
Scott Central also took advantage of 26 Kelly turnovers.
"These are juniors and seniors making those turnovers, and that's uncalled for," said Lanpher. "Our shot selection was also very poor -- probably the worst they've ever taken. They were acting like we had a 10-second shot clock or something."
The Hawks (0-1) trailed just 21-18 at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored 22-2 in the second frame.
"Anytime you have kids that can get up and down the floor, it's always to your benefit to run the floor and get those cheap buckets," said Porter. "I knew they couldn't run with us, so we did it."
The Hawks rallied in the second half behind the shooting of Kendal Deason and Chris Romas, shaving a 20-point lead down to 10. But the deficit was too much for Kelly to overcome, sending the Hawks to the consolation bracket of the tournament.
"We should have been playing like that the whole game," said Lanpher. "We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole. We gave it to them."
For the Hawks, Deason led the way with 24 points. Romas scored 18 and Trey Simmons finished with 14. Kelly will take on Oran's junior varsity team on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Scott Central moves on to the semifinals and will play top-seeded Scott City on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
"Anything is possible," said Porter.
In the consolation semifinals, Richland defeated Oran 63-55. Georgia transfer Corey Moore had another big night, scoring 18 with two 3-pointers.
Jackie Smith finished with 10. John Griffin, Sametrius Booker and Dustin Carmack each scored nine.
For Oran, Garrett Roslen led the way with 22. Matt Seyer scored 12, Trevor Irwin added 10 and David Asmus contributed nine.
Richland now moves on to the consolation finals. The will play the winner of a game between Kelly and Oran's jayvee on Friday at 5 p.m.