DELTA -- Quickness.
Scott County Central's prime weapon presented major problems for the Delta Bobcats in the Scott-Mississippi Conference matchup, the regular-season finale for both teams.
As a result, the Braves rained on the Bobcats' homecoming with an 85-71 win on Friday.
"There were two keys for them," said Delta assistant Nate Crowder, subbing for ailing head coach Shawn Kinder. "They beat us up and down the floor and they beat us on the boards."
Scott Central (18-8, second in the conference at 5-1) took advantage of their edge in quickness to zip past the Bobcats off the fastbreak, as well as, off their half-court sets.
"That's what makes us really strong, being able to put in quickness and speed up the game," Scott Central coach Melvin Porter said.
That quickness also paid dividends on the defensive end.
Although their swarming, trapping defense was officially credited with only 10 turnovers, its disruption of the Delta offense was inestimable.
"Probably the biggest thing that hurt us, I thought, was we got our hands on a lot of balls that we didn't control," said Porter. "We'd knock the ball loose but couldn't recover it. That hurt our momentum at times."
Scott Central also benefitted from its superior depth, a 10-11 man rotation compared to Delta's six.
Said Porter, "I wanted to see what my younger guys could do and they responded really well."
Delta fell into a 22-12 first-quarter deficit, but kept the Braves within range, crawling to within nine at 37-28 as the half expired.
The Bobcats (12-12, 2-4) made a couple of second-half runs but each time the Braves responded to reestablish a comfortable margin.
"We're not as bad, defensively, as we looked tonight," said Crowden. "They're just hard to guard. We tried to switch up defenses on them, but neither (man or zone) was very effective. Their quickness always took over."
Scott Central took a 58-45 edge into the final period and hiked the lead to 77-54 with three minutes to go. A late surge by the Bobcats, in which they outscored the Braves 17-8, trimmed the lead to the final margin of 14.
Sophomore forward Isaac Porter, showing his explosive jumping ability to consistently beat taller opponents on the boards, led the Braves with 23 points, most coming inside the paint.
The guard duo of Avis White and Jeremy Johnson added 17 and 14, respectively.
Delta's Kevin Bartels scored a game-high 27 points and was the only Bobcat to visit the free-throw line, hitting 5-of-6.
Brent Menz, Delta's homecoming king, tallied 17 with three treys, while Aaron Kinder chipped in with 12 and Terrance Below with 10.
Scott Central completed the sweep with a 70-50 junior varsity win.
Both teams now focus on the upcoming district playoffs.
Scott Central, the No. 1 seed in the Class 1, District 1 Tournament at Clarkton, will face the winner between No. 4 Delta C-7 and No. 5 Southland on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Delta, the sixth seed, hosts the Class 1, District 2 Tournament which opens on Monday.
On Delta's district expectations, Crowden said, "If we come out and play our "A" game each night, I really like our chances. If we come out and falter like we did tonight, our season will come to an end."