(photo by Lance Hanlin, Staff)
The Tigers, which had just seven players, were able to keep pace with the Braves for two quarters, trailing just 27-20 at halftime.
But foul trouble, along with Scott Central's depth and athleticism, took its toll on the smaller Tigers in the second half as the Braves rolled to a 24-point victory.
"The kids played the way they should tonight," said Scott Central head coach Melvin Porter. "A game ago, I would've never dreamed they were going to pick it up and play they way they played. That's the team I've been seeing in practice. That's the real team, the one that can play."
Standout Chris Pullen (6-5) was a thorn in Neelyville's side all night. He led the Braves with 20 points, and had five steals.
"He's a slasher," said Neelyville coach Charles Patterson. "He can get to the rim and create a lot of problems, for us especially. He's kind of an outside player and we have to put a post player on him that really can't guard on the perimeter. He gives you a lot of mismatches."
Ernest McCray played his best game of the season, recording 14 points with 11 rebounds for Scott Central.
"That kid has played well in practice, but he hadn't done much in games," said Porter. "I told him yesterday he had one more chance to get himself ready for a real game, and tonight, he stepped up."
Jeremy Johnson contributed 10 points in the win. For Neelyville, Ryan Smith led the charge with 11 points.
"We only have six juniors and seniors," said Patterson. "When you get into foul trouble, it limits what you can do. You've got guys in there with four fouls that have to play passive. I give the credit to Scott County, because they're very athletic. They cause you to foul and put you in a position where you're not going to make a good defensive play. They have a lot of talent and a lot of athletes, and to be honest, we don't."
Neelyville (4-3) will host Delta C-7 on Jan. 3. Scott Central (3-3) will face Oran in the first round of the seMissourian Holiday Tournament on Dec. 26 at 4 p.m.