CHAFFEE -- Scott County Central's Braves cruised past the improving Chaffee Red Devils for an 88-60 win at Chaffee on Friday in a Scott-Mississippi Conference game.
Scott Central's pressure defense and team quickness eventually wore down the Red Devils, who managed to stay close for most of two quarters.
"It's so tough to hold those guys down," said Chaffee coach Tyson Moyers, "but I was happy with our effort. We gave a really good effort and executed well. We still had too many turnovers, but when you go against a team with that kind of quickness, they're going to create turnovers."
Patience against the press and better shot selection helped Chaffee (3-12, 0-4) keep pace early as the first quarter ended in a tie at 14.
Scott Central (14-4, 5-0), a 69-32 winner over Chaffee earlier in the season, held a slim 26-23 edge with about 2 minutes left in the first half, then began to take charge. An 11-4 run to close the second quarter -- the final basket on an unintentional tipin by a Chaffee player -- put the Braves up 37-27 at the half.
After a relatively turnover-free first quarter, the turnover bug began to bite the Red Devils in the second quarter. They committed nine, after only three in the first quarter, then turned it over 14 more times in the second half. Scott Central converted a high percentage of the turnovers to points.
"It started slipping away late in the second quarter," said Moyers. "Then we came out in the third quarter, didn't stay with it and they started pulling away. That press really wears on you after a while, but our kids played hard and played the game that we had to play to keep it as close as we did. We're a work in progress, but we're improving."
The Braves, behind 10 third-quarter points from Drew Thomas and seven from Bobby Hatchett, extended the margin to 63-41 after three quarters.
Sophomore forward Thomas finished with a game-high 32 points while freshman guard Hatchett was scoring runner-up with 20 points. Hatchett also turned in an excellent floor game with six steals and five assists.
Scott Central won the battle of the boards 33-17.
Junior forward Jerrod Steger paced the Red Devils with 22 points and Andy Hendrix contributed 16.
"Jerrod's had a knee injury and then mono (mononucleosis) and he's just now starting to get back in the flow," said Moyers.
Scott Central defeated Chaffee 59-46 in the junior varsity game. John Rhoden led the Braves with 12 points and Andropolis McClinton and Jarron Banks added 11 apiece.
Trenton Horman topped the Red Devils with a game-high 14 points.
Note: Scott Central's victory marked the 650th career win for coach Ronnie Cookson.