(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- Following their breakdown loss to the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats on Friday night, the Scott County Central Braves bounced back with a 73-55 win against the East Poinsett Warriors during day two of the Riverbend Classic at New Madrid County Central.
Unlike against North Little Rock, the Braves (1-1) were able to stave off a late charge by the Warriors in the second half and received bigger contributions from someone other than Otto Porter.
"They got embarrassed (Friday) night," Scott Central head coach Kenyon Wright said about their 68-60 loss to North Little Rock. "The kids that needed to step up and take a different role did it tonight. Still displeased with the offensive effort as far as setting up the offense and doing what we need to do but, we done a little bit better tonight."
Although Porter still led the Braves with 26 points, Stewart Johnson added 13 points, Calvin Porter had 12 and Reggie Woodson chipped in 10 off the bench to give Scott Central a balanced scoring attack.
"Every game you play you try and get better," said Wright. "I think the first game we seen what we had and we came out this game and got a little bit better. Hopefully we can keep that going."
The Braves built an 11-point lead at the end of the second quarter but were outscored 15-9 to begin the second half as East Poinsett was led by their Arkansas recruit Ky Madden's seven, third quarter points.
The Warriors trailed 50-45 going into the fourth quarter.
"The first part of the second half we rushed a couple of shots," Wright said about East Poinsett's third quarter run. "Having the lead and all we should have set it up and run it.
Scott Central rallied, however, at the start of the fourth quarter. An offensive put back by Otto Porter began 11-0 run that lasted until Madden scored just over two minutes later.
By that time, the Braves had a 63-47 lead.
"We finally settled in and put some pressure on the basketball and got some steals and some easy buckets out of it," Wright said.
Madden scored 20 points for the Warriors who were led by sophomore Jammar Sturdivant's 23 points including three 3-pointers. Jori Ford hit four 3-pointers for his 12 total points.
With their third straight 1-1 record after their two days of performing at the Riverbend Classic, Wright said that playing teams the caliber of North Little Rock and East Poinsett gives him a chance to see what's working and more importantly, what's not.
"There's just a lot of things we have to work on," said Wright. "We had them down seven or eight points and let them creep back in the third quarter instead of just putting them away. We have to learn how to get a killer instinct about us and just finish them from the get go."
The Braves will now gear up for the Oran Invitational Tournament where they are seeded No. 1. Their first round game will be against Greenville tonight at 5 p.m.
SCOTT CENTRAL (73) -- Stewart Johnson 13, Trey Johnson 6, Reggie Woodson 10, Otto Porter 26, Dominique Porter 6, Calvin Porter 12. FG 30, FT 11-13, F 13. (3-pointers: S. Johnson 1, O. Porter 1. Fouled out: none.)
EAST POINSETT (55) -- Jori Ford 12, Jammar Sturdivant 23, Ky Madden 20, Byron Ford 2. FG 20, FT 5-8, F 12. (3-pointers: Ford 4, Sturdivant 3, Madden 1. Fouled out: AJ Turner.)