BENTON -- After a slow start, Kelly got its act together to blow past Woodland on Friday night at Kelly High School.
The Hawks (4-3), behind a decisive 26-point second quarter, broke open a close game en route to a 73-44 victory over the Cardinals (3-5).
Kelly committed, unofficially, seven turnovers in the first quarter, but still held a 13-9 advantage.
"We've got to cut down on turnovers," said Kelly coach Cory Johnson. "That first quarter, we just threw the ball around the floor and gave them the opportunity to stay in the game with us. Once we controlled that, we were ok."
The Hawks cut their turnovers to zero in the second period while forcing eight by the Cardinals to vault to a 39-23 halftime lead.
Said Johnson, of the Hawks turnaround, "We picked up fullcourt man (defense), got more into the game, got aggressive, took care of the basketball, got some easy buckets off steals and made them make the turnovers instead of us."
Kent Deason led the Hawk assault with 11 first-half points. He finished with 13 to share scoring honors with brother Kendal (Deason). The Deason's split six 3-pointers.
"We've got guys that can shoot it," Johnson said, "We were getting good looks and knocking it down."
Reserve Thomas DeBrock chipped in with 10 points, all in the fourth quarter, and Jordan Felter added nine.
Kelly showed scoring balance with crisp ball distribution and patience as 10 players reached the scoring column.
"We've been working on that a lot in practice," said Johnson. "We had a tendency early to hold the ball, not move it, not pass it, not see the open man. Now we're moving the basketball, rotating the defense, making them move a little bit and work."
Cody McCraw topped the Cardinals with 16, including four from beyond the arc in the first half. The Cards' Seth Gaines also scored in double figures with 11.
The third quarter resembled the second as Kelly outscored Woodland 21-8 to lock up its final regular-season game before opening the 60th seMissourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.
Kelly, the seventh seed, takes on No. 10 Meadow Heights on Monday, Dec. 27, at 7:30 p.m.