ZALMA - Bell City boys basketball senior Zak McIntyre hit four first-quarter 3-pointers, and star senior Dominitrix Johnson scored 27 second-half points en route to a 67-50 win over Delta in the Class 1 District 2 finals Thursday at Zalma High School.
Bell City improved to 25-4 after clinching its third straight district title. Delta finished its first season under Shawn Kinder at 19-10.
The Cubs will face Scott County Central at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday in a sectional contest at Sikeston High School.
"I thought it was just a story of two different halves," Bell City coach David Heeb said. "The first half Zak stepped up, and in the second half Dom kept us going."
Delta got on the board first with a Brent Menz basket, but that would be Delta's only lead. McIntyre's first 3-pointer gave Bell City a 5-2 lead, and after Delta tied the score at 5-5 McIntyre once again gave the Cubs the lead, this time for good. McIntyre's fourth 3-pointer left his hand just before the first-quarter buzzer sounded, giving Bell City a commanding 18-7 lead.
"Zak McIntyre stepped up and hit a couple of big shots," Kinder said.
Bell City went up 20-7 early in the second quarter before Delta made its run. The Bobcats went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 20-12, and then after Bell City jumped back out by 12 Delta used another run to get within six at 25-19. Bell City responded with a 5-0 run of its own and went to halftime up 30-20.
Down only 10, Delta still was within striking distance. More importantly, the Bobcats held Johnson to only six points in the first half.
"Our game plan was to keep the ball out of Dominitrix's hands as much as possible, and we did a good job in the first half," Kinder said.
Johnson would not be held back for long. Out of halftime Johnson took over, scoring 16 points in the third quarter. With the Cubs' star player kicking it into high gear Delta was not able to get the lead below double figures the rest of the game.
"I told him to play his game," Heeb said of Johnson. "I told him let's see the player that's scored 2,000 points."
Despite some chippy play late, both teams combined for 30 second-half fouls, Bell City was able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the fourth quarter. Johnson finished with a game-high 33 points, and McIntyre added 16.
Kevin Bartels led Delta with 19 points.
Heeb said his team is focused on making it back to the state championship.
"I've got a lot of older kids who at the end of the game didn't celebrate," he said. "They know this is just the beginning."