EAST PRAIRIE -- Another high scoring affair for the Scott County Central Braves Tuesday night, and again, defensive pressure and an early lead helped the Braves roll past the East Prairie Eagles, 97-46.
At around the five minute mark in the first quarter, Scott Central held a slim lead of 7-5. That slim lead quickly turned into a big lead for the Braves. They went on a 22-2 run to finish out the first quarter, leading by the score of 29-
The second quarter is when it really started to turn against East Prairie. Scott Central would score another 10 points before the Eagles could put two more on the board at the 5:47 mark in the second. Also, Tony Jones committed his third foul of the game and would have to sit out for the remainder of the half.
"You take away one of our top kids," Eagle head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "You take away one of our ball handlers, and one of our outside shooters, and where if he's in the game, they have to really key on him then we can look for somebody else."
"When he's out of the game, its very hard to run our offense, then they're just keying on somebody else. It's difficult for us."
East Prairie went into the locker room looking at a 37 point deficit to overcome, with Scott Central leading, 57-20.
More of the same from the Braves after half time. The Eagles saw a 37 point deficit grow to a 50 point deficit by the end of the third quarter. With the clock running the entire fourth quarter, the Braves emptied their bench to finish the game.
"I thought the kids played hard again tonight," Braves head coach Ronnie Cookson said. "We had a few places where we slacked off quite a bit, but I thought they played pretty hard. Jones (Tony) got in foul trouble and that hurt East Prairie bad. When he went out that really opened the doors for us to increase our lead."
Even though they were down for most of the game, coach Schonhoff was happy the way his Eagles team played and continued to play.
"I think our kids played extremely hard," Schonhoff said. "I don't think that they gave up, which is a really good sign. But, we made a lot of silly mistakes that we cannot afford to do and we ended up doing that today. You still have to give credit to them, because they made us do that."
"This is probably by far the best I've ever seen a coach Cookson team play as far as hitting on all cylinders."
Scott Central had five players in double digits. D.D. Gillespie, who led all scorers, had 24 points and also hit four 3-pointers. Caleb Johnson scored 19, while Bobby Hatchett had 14 with two 3-pointers. Drew Thomas had 12 and Randy Timmons added 10 points.
M.C. Williams led the Eagles with 15 points and Tony Jones chipped in with nine points.
Scott County Central (11-2) will travel to Charleston for a much anticipated game against the Bluejays on Friday night. East Prairie will also be in action Friday night, when they travel to Delta to square off against the Bobcats.
The Scott Central junior varsity also cruised past East Prairie, 78-35. The Braves led 59-8 going into halftime.
Stewart Johnson led the Braves with 16 points and Reggie Woodson added 15. Otto Porter and John Rhoden both added 10 points, respectively.
East Prairie's Matt Armstrong scored 15 points. While Jacob Pullen and Conner Scott each scored six points apiece.