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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

SCC to face Dadeville Thursday

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

(Photo)
Scott County Central senior Bobby Hatchett goes up for a layup against Risco in the Class 1 Quarterfinal Saturday in Poplar Bluff. David Jenkins, Staff
COLUMBIA -- The Scott County Central Braves have played a lot of basketball games over the past year.

Perhaps unknown to the players or coaches at the time, two of those particular games took place during the summer on the campus of the College of the Ozarks in Springfield against their first opponent in the MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown semifinals; the Dadeville Bearcats.

Although it may have been a bit early to play out a certain scenario for the two teams to meet, each coach remembers the encounter and is using what they saw that summer day to help further their chances on another college campus on Thursday.

"They are extremely talented," Dadeville head coach Michael Linehan said. "I've never seen that much talent on the floor for a Class 1 school. They've got size, speed and are definitely athletic.

"We got a good chance to see what they can do. They're definitely a load."

Scott Central defeated the Bearcats in what has been rumored as two fairly close contests in Springfield. Braves head coach Kenyon Wright remembers the Bearcats as a physical team that can do a little bit of everything, offensively or defensively.

"They are some real strong kids that have some quickness to them, too," Wright said. "They shoot the ball well. All of them can handle the ball. Their big kids are good ball handlers also. They get up in your face and play good, hard defense. They're strong so they can keep you in front of them and they're pretty quick too. They're good defenders.

"They're not going to back down. The five kids that they start on the floor can all play. They play well together."

Dadeville features three standout players; Zach Medley, Brock Toler and Dakota Webb.

Medley, an all-state swingman, is the Bearcats leading scorer with an average of 17.4 points per game. The 5-11 junior does most of the ball handling for his team and is one of their top shooters as well.

"Zach is a tough kid and a good shooter," Linehan said. "He's been our playmaker for us. Throughout the season he's carried us. He's a good defensive player as well."

Averaging just under Medley, is the 6-4 senior Toler. The senior leader averages right at 17 points per game and has been the Bearcats' go-to guy underneath the basket.

"We've relied on him from the beginning of the year," said Linehan. "He's been a solid player for us all year. He's our emotional leader."

Webb is considered as another big time post player for Dadeville. The 6-4 junior may be the most athletic player Dadeville has to offer as he does a little bit of everything for the Bearcats.

"Dakota is a good, athletic kid," Linehan said. "He jumps well, shoots it from mid range and is a good slasher. He's a good playmaker. He's a pass first, shoot second kind of player. Very unselfish."

Those three combined to help Dadeville to a 29-1 season so far with their only loss coming to Class 2 Weaubleau on Feb. 9 in a 52-48 loss. And although it has been a mix of those three players to carry the Bearcats this season, Wright noticed that whenever teams key on Medley and Toler, the other players on the floor have to problem stepping up and taking shots.

"Whenever teams try and shut those two down, the other three will step up," Wright said. "They've played some bigger Class 3 schools out there and beat several of them in the Springfield area."

Linehan knows what's in front of him as well. The 6-8 junior Otto Porter, who averages 27.7 points and 13.9 rebounds per game, and senior guard Bobby Hatchett, who averages 23.1 points, seven assists and six steals a game, pose match-up problems for almost any team.

"I think he's bigger than what he seems," Linehan said about Porter. "You wouldn't think he's very strong but he is. He grabs a lot of big rebounds and he plays very well. We're just going to do our best and block him out best we can."

"He's really fast," Linehan said of Hatchett. "We have to have our help side help out and do our best to slow him down. We're not used to playing against that type of speed."

The Braves and Bearcats will meet for a third time at the Hearnes Center in Columbia on the University of Missouri campus at 6:40 p.m.