Although, taking away two pieces of the dynamite puzzle that is the Braves' game could have affected rhythm, it had little to do with Porter's performance or the final outcome of their 102-63 victory over the Portageville Bulldogs on Friday night.
"It affected us a little bit," Porter said. "Other players just have to step up and take on a role. We just have to play hard and make up for the loss."
Porter did his best to try and make up for the absences with a career-high 43 points and 18 rebounds.
"We didn't have an answer," Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell said about Porter. "He's got the height, experience and ability and we just didn't do a good job blocking him off. But, then again, he can sliver through and get tip-ins or hit the jumper."
Both Trey and Stewart Johnson were out of the starting lineups with Bryan Freed and John Rhoden taking their place on the floor. Trey Johnson was out with an ankle injury while Stewart Johnson was also forced to miss Friday's game.
Rhoden and Freed both made their presence known right from the start. Rhoden made the game's first points while Freed followed shortly after to give Scott Central a 4-0 lead.
Freed and Rhoden each finished with eight points on the night.
"The one's that came off the bench played a big role," Porter said. "They played good defense. They played on the top of our press real well. They also rebounded too."
Dominique Porter, who came off the bench in the first quarter, also made a splash. He scored seven of his 11 total points in the first quarter including a 3-pointer to give the Braves a 19-10 lead. Scott Central led after the first quarter, 21-12.
"We've got other kids that can play, they just have to step up and do it," Scott Central head coach Kenyon Wright said. "I know they can handle it they just have to do what they can do and play like they can play. Once they get some more minutes in the game they'll be fine."
The Braves led by as much as 23 points in the second quarter but a Portageville run brought the Bulldogs to within 13 with less than a minute left in the half; which is usually where the Braves turn up the pressure and have the foot on the pedal waiting to put the game out of reach.
The Bulldogs were down by just 14 points with 34 seconds left in the second quarter after a free throw by Fred Treadwell. But, a jumper by Otto Porter and a steal by Freed who followed it with a layup on the other end, gave the Braves a comfortable 48-30 lead at the break.
"We jumped out here a little early but then we'd have a turnover or throw the ball away and then there's a 10-point swing just like that," Wright said. "They're right back in the game instead of us pushing it out and ending right there. Of course, when Jim Bidewell's on the sideline they're not going to give up no matter what."
The second half was when the Braves began to distance themselves from Portageville with a bit of help from the two constants; Otto Porter and Bobby Hatchett.
"They know what they have to do and they go out and do it every night," Wright said about Porter and Hatchett. "I'm very proud of them tonight."
Porter scored 27 of his 43 total while Hatchett added 19 of his 27 total in the second half. At one point, Hatchett had back-to-back-to-back steals in the third quarter that went for six unanswered points for the Braves. Hatchett ended up with eight assists as well. Porter was at the end of those Hatchett assists most of the time.
"I think having Hatchett outside to where you can't really help off, really hurts," Bidewell said. "He creates so much havoc."
Treadwell paced the Bulldogs with 33 points while Rondraus Booker added 11. Portageville, who had to replace all five starters from their Class 2 state championship squad from last year, fell to 5-5 on the season.
"I didn't see much fight," Bidewell said. "I saw spurts but we're not good enough to play in spurts. Our kids are learning I hope and this game tonight will be a good lesson because you can't hit the floor every night and just play a quarter or a half. We weren't prepared to play mentally or emotionally. I don't know if it was intimidation or just not caring."
Scott Central (11-1) will travel to East Prairie on Tuesday night while Portageville will make the trip to Campbell to take on the Camels also on Tuesday night.
"Anybody we play is going to be tough on us," Bidewell said. "We don't have the experience and, up until this point, we don't have the drive yet. Until we start getting motivated to really want to play hard all the time, then we could lose a lot of games. We'll just have to see how they respond."
PORTAGEVILLE (63) -- Tevin Walker 8, Jansen Darst 2, Dominique Walker 2, Fred Treadwell 33, Fernando Minnis 4, Rondraus Booker 11, Jake Young 3. FG 24 FT 13-20 F 28. (3-pointers: Treadwell 2. Fouled out: T. Walker.)
SCOTT CENTRAL (102) -- Bobby Hatchett 27, Otto Porter 43, Bryan Freed 8, Charles McClinton 3, John Rhoden 8, LaMarcus Steward 2, Dominique Porter 11. FG 35 FT 31-39 F 16. (3-pointers: Hatchett, D. Porter. Fouled out: none.)