(Photo by Derek James, Staff)
Twin Rivers knocked off sixth-seeded East Prairie 64-48 while Scott City rallied in the third quarter to pull away from fourth-seeded Kelly, 76-63.
In the consolation bracket, fifth-seeded Scott County Central beat No. 8 Richland 79-63.
Twin Rivers and Scott City will square off at 8 p.m. for the championship. Kelly will take on East Prairie in the third place game at 6:30 while Scott Central and Bell City will tip off at 5 p.m.
Twin Rivers led 19-12 after one quarter and extended the lead to 35-25 at the half.
The Eagles never got the lead under 10 points in the second half.
"There's a lot of things we can still get better at," said Twin Rivers coach Jim Vaughan. "We don't take care of the basketball in certain situations. I really thought we handled the rebounding situation well. We defended well tonight and that's an improvement from Monday night. I don't think we're as offensive efficient as we can be, especially versus the press. I'm sure Scott City saw that and we'll get pressed some more."
Twin Rivers (2-0) got a game-high 31 points out of standout junior Michael Lance.
"Lance is a difference-maker," said East Prairie coach Jason Irby. "He's going to be that way the rest of the year and all next year. We didn't have an answer for him and we just couldn't stop him. Every time we'd make a run he'd come up with a big basket or a big play and he's shut that momentum down."
Meanwhile, East Prairie's big guns were being shut down by a tough Royals defense.
Jordan Sanders was held to six points, all coming in the first quarter.
Preston Shoemaker had 13 points, but five of those came late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand.
"We didn't give him a lot of good looks," said Irby of Sanders. "He knocked in a couple early but he forced some bad ones. We just couldn't get him free. They did a good job of keying on him and Preston."
East Prairie (1-1) was led by Ben Walters' 15 points.
Twin Rivers also got 10 points out of Jared Stockton.
Scott City (2-0) led 38-30 at the half only to see the Hawks go on a 12-0 run to start the third quarter and take a 42-38 lead.
But just as quick as the Hawks had seized the momentum, it ended as soon as a technical foul was called on a Kelly player for arguing a call.
Scott City responded by out-scoring the Hawks 17-6 the rest of the quarter and never looking back.
"Momentum's a big thing in basketball," said Scott City coach Lance Amick. "They came out and made a run at us. That seems to be a common thing with us -- we get a little passive after halftime. A lot of people may have called a timeout there and I didn't want to do that. I think that's something that you have to work yourself out of this early in the season. The technical kind of shifted some things and then we found our composure."
Scott City led 55-48 after the third quarter and extended the lead into double figures early in the fourth to coast the rest of the way.
Mark Dannenmueller, an all-state player last year, had 35 points, including 10-of-10 shooting from the free throw line, to lead all scorers.
"Our defense, in particular Mark Dannenmueller's defense on Kendal Deason, was the biggest difference," said Amick. "He's their go-to guy and their man. A lot of people know Mark can score and play offense, but he can guard too. We had good team defense, but Mark had a great individual effort in that spot."
Mark Johnston added 17 points for the Rams.
Deason had 12 points for the Hawks but eight of those points came late in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach, three of which came on a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"Collapse is a good word to use," said Kelly coach Cory Johnson, whose team falls to 1-1. "Scott City's a good team. They've got good experience, good players and good coaching. If you don't take advantage of situations then they'll take advantage. What I was disappointed more than anything, was we let the technical get to us and bother us and it showed out there. We got frustrated and didn't maintain our poise very well."
Senior Michael Glastetter led all Kelly players with 17 points. Kent Deason followed up with 12 points.
Johnson said he hopes his team will remember Dannenmueller's performance in their next meeting with the Rams.
"We knew coming in about him coming in," said Johnson. "It's tough to prepare for a kid that is that talented and that athletic. He's 6-5 with long arms and shoots the ball well and can score off the dribble. Hopefully we can learn when we see them the next time. We'll take a look at the game film and work on it. We'll get better and we'll keep improving."
Scott Central used a big second quarter to pull out to a 46-31 halftime lead and never looked back.
Scott Central (1-1) got 25 points out of Ray Rodgers and 19 out of Andrew Pullen.
Richland was led by Cameron Whittaker's 29 points. Jackie Smith followed up with 13 points.