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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Scott Central breezes past Cooter to reach championship game

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Scott Central's D.D. Gillespie (11) is fouled by Cooter's Evan House.
ORAN -- The Scott County Central Braves charged into the Class 1, District 1 Tournament final with a dominating performance against a decent Cooter team on Tuesday.

In search of a fourth straight district title, the No. 1-seed Braves wasted no time battering the Wildcats in an 89-60 victory.

Before the crowd had barely settled into their seats, Scott Central had run out to a 17-3 lead over No. 4 Cooter and never looked back.

"They came out early and they came to work," said Scott Central coach Ronnie Cookson. "The whole group worked hard."

The Braves (23-4) led 30-14, while forcing 11 turnovers, after one quarter with Drew Thomas and Caleb Johnson splitting 24 of the point total.

The dizzying pace continued in the second quarter resulting in a 58-33 halftime lead.

Thomas, a sophomore forward, completed a tremendous first half with 25 of his game-high 31 points.

"I just try to do what I have to do for us to get the win," said Thomas. "We had to get our tempo going. We want to start fast and end fast. That's how we want to play."

While Thomas was scoring at will, junior post Caleb Johnson was sweeping the boards as well as contributing 25 points on the night. Junior guard D.D. Gillespie chipped in with 16 points.

With Johnson as the ringleader, Scott Central outrebounded Cooter 43-27. "Caleb got all the rebounds," said Cookson. "He really got on the boards."

Scott Central extended its lead to 81-49 at the end of the third period before handing the reins over to reserves and triggering the running clock.

The Braves' defensive effort, whether with its zone or trapping pressure disrupted the Wildcats throughout the game.

Despite Scott Central's mastery, Cooter (17-10) proved to be a respectable opponent.

The Wildcats connected on six 3-pointers and 6-5 junior post Nathan Poe had his moments in the paint.

Poe led Cooter with 14 points and senior guard Devon Barger added 12 with two treys.

Scott Central and Oran, both Scott County neighbors, meet for the district championship on Thursday at 8 p.m.