Cubs rout Risco; Advance downs Scott Central
DELTA - The Class 1A, District 2 Tournament at Delta High School provided no surprises on Monday.
Top-seeded Bell City rolled past Risco 84-64; No. 2 seeded Oran took out No. 7 Delta 84-64; No. 3 Bernie eliminated No. 6 Richland 68-50; and No. 4 Advance defeated No. 5 Scott County Central 91-76.
Bell City (22-5) and Advance (18-8) will play tonight at 6:30 followed by Bernie (19-6) versus Oran (20-6) at 8 p.m.
Scott Central finishes its season at 15-11 while Richland ended at 10-16.
In the best game of the night, the Hornets held off several Scott Central surges to pull out the win.
Leading just 61-59 entering the fourth quarter, Advance went on a 17-5 run to start the period and to take the lead for good.
"We got back into it by scrambling and forcing some turnovers," said Scott Central head coach Steve Wells. "Once we did that then we had a letdown. We started trading baskets with them and then we'd lose one here or there. Then we had to put them at the line."
Advance capitalized from the foul line, particularly Jared Ritter, who connected on 8-of-9 attempts in the final minutes. He finished with 20 points.
But it was the Hornets' Andrew Jenkins who carried Advance in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his game-high 28 points in the period.
"We sort of rode Andrew Jenkins in the second half," said Advance head coach Jim Hall. "He played a great half for us. Ritter of course made some great assists and knocked down the free throws at the end. I'm proud to get another shot at Bell City."
The Braves started the game on a 9-2 run, but Advance fought back to take a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Braves fell behind by as much as 36-25 in the second quarter but they rallied with a 9-2 run to end the half and close the gap to 38-34.
But as hot as the Braves were at the end of the first half, they were just as sluggish at the start of the second half. The Hornets went on a 13-3 run to start the quarter to lead 51-37.
The Braves still trailed by 14 with 2:24 left on a Ritter 3-pointer but again they closed the quarter strong, finishing with a 14-2 run, cutting the lead to 61-59.
"It was a game of runs," said Hall. "There's a lot of things about the game that I was pleased with but there were a lot of things that I didn't like. Our interior defense wasn't very good at the end."
Scott Central was led by three players that cracked 20 points in Chris Johnson (25 points), Chris Pullen (22 points) and Terrance Williams (21 points).
But despite the Braves' offensive success, Wells knew all along he was going to need more production out of more players.
"We talked about it at halftime, we needed some of those other guys to step up and score," said Wells. "For one reason or another they weren't able to do that. It's tough to beat somebody when you only have three people scoring on a regular basis. It happens sometimes and unfortunately it happened to us tonight."
Scott Central will lose four seniors. In addition to Johnson and Williams, Desmen Johnson and Greg Reed will graduate.
"Chris Johnson, for his size, is just unbelievable inside," said Hall. "The maneuverability he has, the coordination, ball-handling and shooting skills -- he's just a tough player. Scott County's a tough ballclub for us to play because they're so athletic. And they've got big Pullen inside, he's sort of a force on the boards."
Richland, playing without leading scorer Sherome Cole due to an injured wrist, was tied with Bernie midway through the third quarter at 32-32.
But the Mules closed the quarter on a 15-2 run to put the game away.
"If you'd had told me before the game started that the game would be tied with four minutes left in the third quarter, I would've took it," said Richland head coach Jim Lincoln. "We had to make an adjustment in a matter of a week and we didn't have enough horses to do it."
Bernie's Robert Johnson, who connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to snap the tie in the third quarter, finished with 18 points and five treys.
"Johnson got two 3s and everything that we worked for in the first four minutes was gone," said Lincoln. "We tied it up at 32 and had two bad possessions defensively."
But also contributing to the run was the Wooldridge Brothers, Chad and Darius. Chad finished with a game-high 21 points while Darius added 10.
"All three of them can play," said Bernie head coach Morris Karnes. "The one Wooldridge is a freshman and he was a little nervous early on. But he finally made a shot or two and did some good things. He has a lot of talent.
"I knew Richland would play us decent, because Jimmy does a good job, they play hard and they've been here before. Even without Sherome we weren't taking anything for granted."
While Bernie was getting points from several different players, the Rebels were looking for somebody to step up and take Cole's place.
"When it comes to crunch time we're asking kids to take shots and score for us that haven't had to do it in four years," said Lincoln. "One thing you have with Sherome is you get easy buckets. Without him we had to come down and work every single time for a bucket."
Bernie led through most of the first half, holding a 17-11 edge after one quarter and a 30-22 advantage at halftime.
Consecutive 3-point shots by Travis Nelson and Josh McMullin tied the game at 32 but that was it for the Rebels.
Bernie outscored Richland 36-18 the rest of the way.
Nelson led the Rebels with 15 points. No other Richland player reached double figures.
Marcus Johnson added 12 points for the Mules.
Richland loses seven seniors including Cole, Nelson, McMullin, Derrick Goodman, Landon Wheeler, Jason Vandiver and Tyson Finnell.
"I told the seniors that they got to experience something that 85 percent of the high school kids don't get to experience when they made it to the final eight last year and we had a chance to get to the Final Four," said Lincoln.
"There's not a whole lot of teams every year that get that opportunity. We're going hate to see them go, and there's going to have to be some kids step up next year. But every one of them has played a part in every bit of this."
Lincoln said Cole, despite being injured is still getting recruiting interest.
"Unfortunately for Sherome, with our record, it's hurting him recruiting-wise," said Lincoln. "He's got offers on the table but it's low-major colleges. If he was at a Sikeston or a New Madrid, then big-time colleges would be looking at him."
The top-seeded Cubs demolished Risco in the first round, jumping out to a 26-4 lead after one quarter. They held a 48-8 lead at the half and led 70-14 entering the fourth quarter.
Bell City was led by Eric Henry's 23 points. Kenyon Wright added 12 points followed by C.J. Hadley's had 11 and Zack McIntyre's 10.
Risco (8-18) was led by Greg Landers' 10 points.
The second-seeded Eagles raced out to a 24-11 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Oran led 44-28 at the half and 61-41 entering the fourth quarter.
In a physical, foul-plagued game, the two teams combined for 52 fouls and 73 free throw attempts. Oran was led by Ryne Wood's 26 points and Tyler Cookson's 21. Nathan Seyer added 18 points. Delta (8-18) was led by Lance Kinder with 25, Joey Keys with 19 and Craig Bock with 10.