Scott Central to face Rams in finals after 84-60 win over East Prairie Thursday night
DELTA -- In the second semifinal game at the Scott-Mississippi tournament Thursday night, the No. 6 seed Kelly Hawks made a late push to try and knock off the No. 2 seed Scott City Rams but came up short, 56-52.
It was back-and-forth between the Hawks and Rams early in the game. The score ended up being tied at 12 by the end of the first quarter.
But, Scott City broke the tie and then some, going on a 13-0 run to open up the second quarter. The Rams were in the drivers seat at the half, 30-20.
Around the one minute mark in the third quarter, Kelly found themselves down by 12 points, 42-30. But, after a two point basket and one halfcourt, buzzer-beating shot later by Josh DeBrock, the Hawks cut the lead almost in half, 42-35, to start the final period.
With a minute-and-a-half left in the game and Scott City in front 53-46, the Hawks went on a 6-2 run to pull within only three points, 55-52.
With time running out, Kelly started to foul to preserve time. Scott City converted one out of five free throws down the stretch.
Kelly had the ball with around 20 seconds left and down by four. Levi Felter took a 3-point shot to pull within one, but missed and Scott City held on for the win.
"If you were a fan of high school basketball tonight, it was a good game to come and see," Kelly head coach Nathan Wills said. "Our whole goal from the beginning of the year was to get better every game, and I think we're doing that, I'm seeing a lot of positive things."
DeBrock and Felter each ended up with 15 points apiece to lead the Hawks. Felter also made three 3-pointers.
"We just wanted to come out tonight and compete and see if we had made some progress," Wills said. "When we played them in the Christmas tournament, I think they beat us by 30. Tonight, we came out and made it a much more competitive game.
"Hopefully, if we see them in districts we can have that same kind of effort, and you never know, the outcome might be different."
Scott City was led by Caleb Estes with 15 points. Jay Simmons added 14 and hit three 3-pointers.
"The name of that game was perseverance, energy and effort," Scott City head coach Lance Amick said. "Kelly plays with just about as much intensity as anybody in this area. They are well coached and they do a lot of things right."
"The kids held on, and I'm proud of that."
This will be Scott City's second straight year in the final round of the Scott-
Miss tournament and second straight time they will play Scott County Central. Scott City fell to the Braves 92-53 last year.
"We've been here the last few years and hopefully we'll get over the hump," Amick said. "They're a tough group and they're well coached too."
"It's just an honor to be playing in the championship and you get to play against a legend like coach Cookson. You just relish every opportunity you get to be apart of something like that."
In the game before the Kelly-Scott City thriller, the Scott County Central Braves defeated the East Prairie Eagles, 84-60.
A barrage of 3-pointers were made to start off the game.
M.C. Williams began the shooting frenzy, putting the first three points on the board. D.D. Gillespie answered with one of his own. Then, Drew Thomas added one. Next was Williams, again. Finally, Bobby Hatchett sank one to round out the 3-point parade.
The Braves then went on to take a 13 point lead to end the first quarter, 26-
13. At halftime, Scott Central was up 37-23.
After the break, the Eagles went on a 7-1 run to close the gap to eight points, 38-30. But, for the remainder of the third quarter, the Braves outscored the Eagles 21-10 going into the fourth quarter.
The highlight of the fourth quarter was the 82nd point, which was a one-
handed slam by Thomas to please the Braves fans.
East Prairie was led by Williams who had 21 points and hit six 3-pointers. Tony Jones added 19 and Ryan Jones had 10.
Caleb Johnson led all scorers with 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Thomas added 21 points and Gillespie was right behind them with 19 points. Hatchett also chipped in and scored 10 points.
The Eagles will take on the Kelly Hawks tonight at 5:30, for the third place trophy.
Scott Central will be playing in their seventh straight Scott-Mississippi Conference championship game.
"That's two years in a row I've made it that far," Braves coach Ronnie Cookson said. "I'm tickled to death and I know the kids are tickled to death to get into the championship."
Scott Central and Scott City will hook-up tonight at 8:30.