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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Homecoming win: Scott Central wears down Charleston

Sunday, January 16, 2011

(Photo)
Scott County Central's Stewart Johnson dribbles past Charleston's Ryan Parham on Friday night at Ronnie Cookson Gymnasium. Johnson scored 20 points for the Braves during their 90-71 win.
(Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The focus when playing the Scott County Central Braves is limiting Otto Porter. As great as a challenge that is, senior Stewart Johnson is always ready and willing to take some of the pressure off of his 6-8 teammate whether he needs it or not.

"He's going to get the job done," Johnson said, "but, I just try to help him out when I can."

Although Porter led the attack against the visiting Charleston Bluejays on Friday night, Johnson was instrumental in the Braves' 90-71 victory at Scott County Central's Ronnie Cookson Gymnasium.

Johnson was the Braves' second leading scorer with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and dished out five assists from his point guard position.

"Stewart does a good job of handling the basketball and making plays off the dribble and being the point guard out there and leading the team like it needs to go," Scott County Central head coach Kenyon Wright said. "He's done a good job of picking that up here throughout the season and hopefully, he can keep going and keep getting better at it."

Johnson was key in the first half, taking the ball to the basket in transition as well as when holes opened up through the Charleston defense. When defenders clung to Porter, Johnson seized the opportunity to get to the basket.

He led the Braves with 16, first half points including 12 in the second quarter. Porter had 14.

"I know a lot of night's he's going to see those double and triple teams, so I try to take some attention off of him and help him out," said Johnson.

Porter was the focus when it came to the Charleston defense. The senior constantly had a hand in his face or a body on him. When Porter started toward the basket, two more defenders collapsed towards the bucket as well.

It was tough, physical defense by the Bluejays.

"It wasn't as physical as the first one," Porter said about their first run-in with the Bluejays during the Southeast Missourian Christmas tournament. "It was way more physical.

"That physical (play) bothers a team like us. We've just got to keep moving. What we try to do is we try to wear them down."

With Johnson and Porter, who scored a game-high 36 points on 15-of-24 shooting from the field and 12 rebounds, leading the charge in the first half, the Bluejays kept the game close with hot shooting behind the arc. Charleston knocked down five 3-pointers in the first two quarters leading to a 40-32 halftime score in favor of the Braves.

Two of which came from Jerry Carter who finished with a team-high 24 points with four total 3-pointers made.

"In order to counteract, we had to make our shots," Charleston head coach Danny Farmer said. "I know it's a lot for kids to make those open looks, but when you get those looks against a good team you've got to knock them down."

The third quarter, however, proved costly for the Bluejays. While shots weren't falling, Scott Central began to slowly pull away receiving 10 points from Porter and another 10 from off the bench in the form of Reggie Woodson.

Charleston slowly started to wear down in the third resulting in a 14-2 run by the Braves in a two-and-a-half minute span.

"I knew we were in better shape than them and we tried to utilize that," said Johnson. "We noticed they were getting tired and me and Bubba (Porter) told the team in the huddle to keep it up and keep pushing."

"Stamina effects shots," Farmer added. "I didn't sub as much as I usually do so, it could have been."

Scott Central was up 68-50 at the end of the third quarter.

The Braves went up by as much as 19 points in the fourth quarter, but four 3-pointers by the Bluejays continued to keep it fairly close.

"They pulled away once we started missing shots," Farmer said. "But, we hung in and kept coming back. I thought it was a great effort on our part against a very good team."

This was the Braves' 7th straight victory over Charleston.

"Charleston and Scott Central is a big rival, it always has been," Wright said. "It's always going to be a good game -- year in and year out it's always going to be a good game."

During the junior varsity action, the Scott County Central Braves pulled out a 71-57 win over the Bluejays.

Jaylen Porter led the Braevs with 21 points while Larandis Banks added 20. Da'Marequelle Pittman led the Bluejays with 17 points. Robert Bogan chipped in with 12.

Charleston16161821--71
Scott Central18222822--90

CHARLESTON (71) -- Aaron Cassell 8, Ryan Parham 8, Michael Hull 8, Greg Tucker 16, Jamaul Gray 2, Claude Armstrong 5, Jerry Carter 24. FG 22, FT 17-22, F 19. (3-pointers: Cassell 2, Parham 1, Hull 2, Tucker 1, Carter 4. Fouled out: none.)

SCOTT CENTRAL (90) -- Stewart Johnson 20, Trey Johnson 6, Otto Porter 34, Dominique Porter 8, Calvin Porter 2, Reggie Woodson 16, Lamarcus Steward 4. FG 36, FT 17-20, F 17. (3-pointers: S. Johnson 1. Fouled out: none.)