(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
COLUMBIA -- Senior Bobby Hatchett and junior Otto Porter did what they have done all season.
They led the team in points and they led the team in rebounds which ultimately, led the Scott County Central Braves to another lop-sided win.
A record-breaking performance by the 6-8 post-man and an all-out show by the 5-11 guard led the Braves to a record 14th state championship in school history after a 96-47 victory over Pilot Grove in the Class 1 state championship game on Saturday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
"I really don't know what to say," first-year Braves coach Kenyon Wright said following the win. "I'm kind of speechless to be honest with you.
"The smile on my face is all I got. That's all I can say."
Although Wright may have been wearing the biggest smile of them all, smiles filled the stands of the orange-clad faithful as they fixed their eyes on the Porter-Hatchett tandem for the last time in Scott Central uniforms.
Porter added to that excitement by breaking a 34-year old record held by his father, Otto Sr., for most rebounds in a single Show-Me Showdown game with an astounding 35 rebounds. His father pulled down 25 rebounds in one game during Scott Central's first state championship in 1976.
He also broke a second of his father's rebounding records from that same year, with a combined 49 rebounds in his two games at Columbia. Otto Sr. previously held the record with 47.
"Actually, I didn't even know," Porter said about surpassing his father's storied accomplishments. "I just try to get everything off the boards and go with it. I just try to do my best on the rebounding."
Porter had a game-high 29 points to go with his 12 offensive rebounds and 23 defensive rebounds. He had 21 of his record-breaking 35 in the first half.
"There's no doubt he's as good as advertised," Pilot Grove head coach Rick Grunden said. "He's 6-8 and he's probably got a wingspan of 7-foot. He's a very lanky kid. He's very athletic. He gets up and down the floor well and he jumps well."
Porter's toughest battle may have been against cousin and teammate Dominique Porter. At one point in the second quarter, Scott Central's sixth man ferociously took away a potential 36th rebound from Otto Porter's grasp.
"We was fighting for it," Porter said with a gigantic smile. "But, eventually he got it and stuck it back in."
The 5-10 sophomore, well-known for his all-out effort, gave the Braves 11 points and seven rebounds in just 13 minutes of play.
"For a little kid his size to get in there and get seven rebounds, he's just a hard-working kid," Wright said about Dominique Porter. "He's tough-minded. He makes a lot of mistakes, but he does get in there and work hard. And that makes up for some of them."
With his combined 62 points and 49 rebounds over the course of the weekend, Otto Jr. is now tied for second in the MSHSAA state record books in points scored in a half with 28, tied for fourth in most field goals in a game with 16 and now holds the third most field goals in two games with 30 which passes his father and Ricky Frazier from Charleston.
"All the rumors are Coach Anderson here at MU is on him hard and heavy," Grunden said. "After watching him run up and down the floor and watching his athleticism, there's not doubt that he fits in with the 'fastest 40 minutes on earth.'"
Porter, deservedly, finished with the most impressive stat line of the night and arguably the entire weekend, but it was the senior Hatchett who, like in most games this season, got the Braves rolling like only they seem to be able to do.
Hatchett, who finished with 28 points, nine assists and five steals in his last game as a Brave, scored the game's first five points with a finger roll and a 3-pointer. Although Scott Central (29-2) got out to an early 7-2 lead, Pilot Grove returned the favor by out-scoring the Braves 7-2 in just over two minutes of play to tie the game at nine points apiece midway through the first.
Hatchett answered with eight points inside a 14-0 run by the Braves, to give Scott Central a 23-9 advantage in the blink of an eye. In doing so, he gave the Scott Central faithful a bit of a scare when he took a hard fall, landing on his back following a one-handed dunk giving the Braves a 21-9 lead. Hatchett remained flat on the floor clutching his lower back with an obvious stinger.
"My breath got knocked out of me," Hatchett said. "I couldn't breathe for a second. I was alright though."
The senior guard returned to the game after only a minute on the bench.
"He got out real fast 'I got the breath knocked out of me,'" Wright said, "and then couldn't say nothing else. He just let us know what was going on. It was kind of funny. He said it real fast."
Hatchett led his squad with 15 of the Braves' 23 first quarter points which set the tone for his second consecutive state championship.
"It's his senior year, he's happy," Wright said about Hatchett. "You always work towards getting there your senior year. He helped Drew [Thomas] and those guys get there last year and enjoy it."
A 3-pointer by Pilot Groves' Colby Kraus pulled the Tigers (28-4) within five points to open the second quarter. However, it would be the closest Pilot Grove would be again. An 8-0 run to close out the first half gave the Braves a 51-29 lead as their quickness and relentless defense proved just as costly for the Tigers as it had for Scott Central's 28 other victims.
"My kids played extremely hard," Grunden said. "For a quarter in a half we kind of hung with them a little bit. And then, maybe we woke them up. I don't know. They came out and decided to shift gears. When they put it in overdrive we were sitting behind looking in the dust. That's the bottom line.
"They're good. They'd probably beat anybody here this weekend. There's a good chance they beat the four's and five's. That's just how good they are."
The closest the margin was in the second half was 24 points as Scott Central began to feel that number 14 was near.
They outscored the Tigers 28-16 in the third quarter and 17-2 after the final buzzer sounded.
"I'm satisfied now," Hatchett said. "The first one was fun, but it ain't nothing like this last one."
SCOTT CENTRAL (96) -- Bobby Hatchett 28, Trey Johnson 9, Otto Porter 29, Bryan Freed 2, Calvin Porter 2, Lawrence Woodson 2, Lamarcus Steward 8, Dominique Porter 11, Charles McClinton 3, John Rhoden 2. FG 44 FT 5-7 F 15. (3-pointers: Hatchett 1, Johnson 1, McClinton 1. Fouled out: none.)
PILOT GROVE (47) -- Jacob Schuster 15, Brett Twenter 4, Colby Kraus 8, Zach Glenn 18, Taylor Glenn 2. FG 20 FT 2-8 F 5. (3-pointers: Schuster 3, Kraus 2. Fouled out: none.)