(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
His biggest pitch? Convincing his team to dig in on the defensive end. The idea has apparently been sold.
One night after holding Puxico to 17 points, Vaughan?s Royals produced another defensive lockdown in a 56-40 victory against Bloomfield Saturday night at the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament.
Twin Rivers (7-2) held Bloomfield to just three first-half field goals -- none in the second quarter -- as the Royals raced out to an early double-digit lead.
The Wildcats managed just 12 field goals the entire game.
"That's something tough to sell to high school kids," Vaughan said. "Everyone wants to run down and score, but for the kids to have that mindset that they don't want to get beat on the defensive end -- that's impressive for 16-, 17-, 18-year old kids to want to do that."
After Tim Perry's 3-pointer made it 8-all early in the first quarter, Twin Rivers dug in defensively. Bloomfield (7-2) didn't get another field goal until Jordan Sandage converted a layin with 2:31 left in the third quarter. By then, the Royals were ahead 40-19.
"I don't know if you can ever be dominant defensively, but we want to be fundamentally solid, active and in great floor position as a group of five all the time," Vaughan said. "Our kids buy into that. I was ever so pleased about the way we guarded in the halfcourt tonight."
Michael Lance scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half for Twin Rivers. Forward Matt Stanford added 12.
The Royals, one win away from consecutive trips to the championship game, will face defending Class 2 state champion East Carter in the semifinals Monday.
Five-time defending champion Dexter will play Doniphan in the other semifinal.
Vaughan is now 2-0 against Bloomfield coach Travis Brown. The two became good friends as assistant coaches at Poplar Bluff before getting their own teams.
"It's kinda bittersweet because I want him to continue to be successful because he's done such a great job building this program," Vaughan said. "But when we beat his team, we beat a good basketball team. I've got to feel good about that, and our kids have got to feel good about that."
Both of Bloomfield's losses this season came to Twin Rivers.
"Coaching is a small fraternity and sometimes it's a tough one," Brown said. "I'm glad to see a friend be successful."
Bloomfield got early 3s from Eric Jones and Perry to stay close, but the Royals methodically began picking the Wildcats apart. Lance converted a turnover into an easy basket late in the first half, then cut through the Bloomfield zone defense for another layin as Twin Rivers went ahead 24-14.
After a Jordan Sandage free throw, Standford had an offensive putback and 3-pointer from the left corner. Jason Baucom scored off another Bloomfield turnover to give the Royals a 16-point cushion. Twin Rivers' lead grew to 21 when Jared Stockton drove around a defender to make it 37-16. Bloomfield managed to cut the deficit to 12 on a Perry 3-pointer with 4:50 left, but Twin Rivers answered with six consecutive points to end the threat.
The Wildcats scored just four second-quarter points -- all free throws. No Bloomfield player reached double digits in scoring.
"There's a lot of lessons we've got to learn. We've experienced some success, but there's a lot of the same issues that keep popping up and we have to change those," Brown said. "Now our focus is to get three wins. We want three wins and I think we have the ability to do that."
Dexter 71, Hayti 51
Behind Derek Demaree's tournament-high 32 points, Dexter remained on course for its sixth consecutive title by pulling away from Hayti.
Demaree's big night offset the loss of leading scorer Josh Miller, who watched from the bench in street clothes. Miller sprained his ankle in the Bearcat's opening-round win against Richland.
Derek Roberts added 10 points for Dexter (5-3), which held Hayti to eight third-quarter points to build on a 44-31 halftime lead.
William Moore scored 19 for Hayti and Rickey Jackson added 18.
East Carter 56, Portageville 47
Allen Wilder led four Redbirds in double figures with 14 points as East Carter (7-0) remained undefeated.
Portageville, which trailed 33-21 at the half, got as close as six points in the second half before fading. Willie Hassell led the Bulldogs (4-3) with 16 points.
Trevor Douglas scored 13 and Tyler Stahl and David Reynolds scored 11 apiece for East Carter.
Doniphan 72, South Pemiscot 62
A Devin Sims basket and four clutch free throws from Brett Reed in the final minute ended the Bulldogs' Cinderella run.
South Pemiscot, which knocked off fifth-seeded Malden Friday, led 62-61 on a Percy Brock 3-pointer with 1:43 left.
But the Bulldogs turned it over on their next two possessions as Doniphan pulled away. Reed scored 17 for the Dons, who led 30-27 at halftime. Sims and Matt Rogers scored 16 apiece.
Percy hit seven 3s en route to a game-high 29 points.
Kennett 69, Bernie 38
One night after getting upset in the first round, Kennett had little trouble with No. 13 Bernie.
Cody Robinson scored 16 points and Dontavis Jones added 10 for the Indians, who broke a 12-all tie by outscoring Bernie 38-13 in the second and third quarters.
Daniel Young led Bernie with 10 points. Zach Dill added eight.
Richland 76, Malden 72
Corey Moore's 20 points and 17 from Jackie Smith helped the 16th-seeded Rebels upset No. 9 Malden. Richland, which lost by 51 to Dexter Friday, erased an early four-point deficit by outscoring Malden 26-13 in the second quarter for a nine-point halftime advantage.
Richard Marks scored 23 and Jordan Beaird added 22 for Malden.
Van Buren 91, Greenville 72
Tyler Cleaver led four Bulldogs in double figures with 20 points as Van Buren eliminated Greenville. Juan Sanchez (14), Chris Bourque (12) and Daniel Hoskins (10) all reached double digits for the Bulldogs, who led 20-9 after the first quarter. Van Buren had a 64-39 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Donny Helm hit six of Greenville?s seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points.
East Prairie 73, Puxico 38
Jordan Sanders hit six 3s for East Prairie, which steadily built on 12-point halftime lead. The Eagles outscored Puxico 39-16 in the second half. Jordan Patterson scored 14 points and Aaron Harland and Anthony Smith added 12 apiece for East Prairie.
Jesse Townsend had 17 for Puxico.