(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- In southeast Missouri, Scott County Central's Otto Porter has become a household name. His dominating presence on the basketball court has earned the senior that status and quite a few accolades to boot.
Porter's latest honor was an article by senior basketball recruiting analyst, Dave Telep, of ESPN Recruiting on ESPN.com claiming Porter as the 'best high school recruit no one knows about.'
"It was a nice deal," Porter said about his recent national exposure run-in. "It's nice to do things like that. I just try to take it all in."
Porter's latest commanding basketball feat came on Thursday night when the Braves dismantled the visiting East Prairie Eagles, 107-38, during Scott County Central's first home game of the year.
Porter led the Braves with 36 points on 17-of-25 shooting from the field. He, along with other starters, played just the first two quarters continuing to prove his recent national attention holds merit.
"Those kinds of accolades are neat from him to get at his age being at a small school like we are here," Scott Central head coach Kenyon Wright said. "He's well deserving of it. He's level-headed about the whole thing and he knows, when it comes down to it, he's ready to work at it and get better."
Leading Porter's college interest is the University of Missouri, although he will wait until after the high school season to make his choice. Other options still include Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Xavier, Missouri State, Kansas, Oregon State and Purdue with UCLA being the most recent school to show interest in the 6-8 senior.
"(Telep's piece) will give him some opportunities and could open up other doors for him college-wise," Wright said.
In the meantime, Porter's Braves won their 11th game of the year against the Eagles which makes it their sixth-straight victory in-a-row.
Itching to get back on the court following a two week absence of games, Scott Central (11-2) pounced on East Prairie from the opening tip going on runs of 9-2 and 19-2 in the first quarter.
The Braves completely put the game out of reach in the second quarter scoring 40-unanswered points to go up 79-11 at the half. Porter scored 21 of his 36 in the second frame alone which included four, rim-rocking dunks that were given rave reviews from the home crowd.
"Not having a game in two weeks, I know they were ready to get out there and play a ball game," Wright said. "Hopefully, it was good for them to shake the cobwebs off."
Stewart Johnson chipped in a hefty 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting and also dished out 10 assists. Dominique Porter added 16 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field as well. Scott Central had a total of 12 different players record at least one point.
"They had an itch to play," East Prairie head coach Casey Knight said about the Braves. "They're obviously head and shoulders above us. I think we were a little intimidated by the name and we didn't do some of the things we can do against any team, but it's hard not to be intimidated when they can beat almost anybody in southeast Missouri."
The Eagles (2-10) were led by senior Alan Miller's eight points while junior Phillip Latamondeer added seven.
The Braves' 69-point win over the Eagles came on the eve of one of their toughest, non-conference games of the year. Tonight, the Braves will square off against the Charleston Bluejays (9-4) for the second time this season at Ronnie Cookson Gymnasium.
"They play really good man-to-man defense and they have some kids that can shoot the ball," Wright said about the Bluejays. "They're going to be very tough to beat. That's a team you don't want to have to play twice."
The Scott Central-Charleston matchup will begin soon after the junior varsity contest, which will start at 6 p.m.
During Thursday's junior varsity action, the Scott Central Braves defeated East Prairie, 79-43.
EAST PRAIRIE (38) -- Shawn King 4, Dalton Golightly 4, Field Laplant 4, Phillip Latamondeer 7, Aaron Miller 2, Alan Miller 8, Andrew Cartwright 5, Connor Scott 4. FG 49, FT 9-15, F 7. (3-pointers: Laplant 1. Fouled out: none.)
SCOTT CENTRAL (107) -- Stewart Johnson 21, Trey Johnson 3, Otto Porter 36, Dominique Porter 16, Calvin Porter 4, Lamarcus Steward 8, Bryan Freed 2, Tyrell Avance 4, Blake Pobst 4, Tyler Dollins 1, Caleb Cockrell 2, Zach Abernathy 6. FG 49, FT 9-15, F 7. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none.)