SIKESTON -- How can a team beat a team like Scott County Central?
"The biggest hurdle that you have to go threw is after their speed, after their pressure, after their height and after their quickness is mental toughness," East Prairie head coach Matt Schonoff. "You can't get frustrated."
Unfortunately for the Eagles, all of those factors were in favor of the Braves on Tuesday night.
The state-ranked Scott County Central rolled past East Prairie as they hit the century mark for the first time this season in a 104-43 shalacking.
"You've got to have a perfect night and they've got to have an off night just for it to be close," Schonoff said.
The Braves began the contest with 17 unanswered points and never looked back. They had already built a 29-point advantage, 35-6, after the first quarter alone with their full-court press leading the way.
It was extended to a 50-point lead, 62-12, at the half.
There were 23 steals from the Braves in the first half alone. Drew Thomas scored 16 while Randy Timmons scored all of his 14 points in the first half.
The same trends continued throughout the second half as Scott Central held a 86-29 lead after the third quarter. The race to the century mark was complete after Andropolis McClinton picked off a pass around halfcourt and drove to the bucket to give the Braves a 101-43 score.
"Lots of times we were lazy with some passes. Other times we made good passes," Schonoff said. "But, for the whole ball game I think our kids played extremely hard. We didn't quit at the end."
Conner Scott led the Eagles with 16 points. Dustin Caldwell added 11 while Ryan Jones and Sam Johnson chipped in with 10 and six respectively.
"East Prairie tried hard and they played hard," Scott Central head coach Ronnie Cookson said. "They've got a good ball club and their coach does a good job with them.
"They're down a little bit this year. They lost their best ball player and that really makes a difference. With the size of schools that we are and they are, you can't lose two or three good ball players. It's hard to regroup after that."
All five of Scott Central's starters scored in double digits as Thomas led all scorers with 25 points.
"His shooting has really extended out and made him extra dangerous and he can put the ball on the floor." Schonoff said about all-stater Drew Thomas.
Randy Timmons and Desmin Williams each scored 14 while Bobby Hatchett had 12 points, seven assists and five steals.
Otto Porter had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"We played excellent defense on him at the beginning of the third quarter," Schonoff said about Porter. "One of our 'bigs' had a hand in his face and he did a fall-a-way and swished it. It was excellent defense but he made an excellent shot. His arm length for a high school kid is dangerous."
Schonoff believes that this year's Scott Central team is better than last year's team who went to the Class 1 state finals and took home third place.
"Right now, in my eyes, this Scott County team is better than last years," said Schonoff. "They've got size, they can shoot, they're quick and their just all over the court. They have bigger aspirations this year. They're extremely tough. They're one of the top two teams in this area and definitely in the state."
East Prairie (4-7) will be at home against Delta while Scott Central will host the Charleston Bluejays. Both games will be on Friday on 6 p.m.
The Scott County Central junior varsity grounded the East Prairie Eagles as they handed them a 66-19 loss.
Reggie Woodson led the Braves with 13 points. Charleston McClinton added 12 for the Braves as well.