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Braves scorch nets in 108-41 win over Risco

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DEXTER -- The Risco Tigers did what most teams never seem to be able to do.

They slowed Scott County Central's Otto Porter to just 11 points in the first half, although the 6-9 national recruit was feeling a little under the weather.

Unfortunately for the heavy underdog, Porter's sickness made little difference in the Braves' second-straight playoff victory over the Tigers.

The rest of Scott Central's healthy roster torched the nets for another 55 points in the first two quarters en rout to a 108-41 drubbing on Tuesday during their Class 1 Sectional matchup at the Bearcat Event Center in Dexter.

Proving to some, their not the one-man show they perceive to be.

"That's something the kids wanted to prove," Scott County Central coach Kenyon Wright said. "Bubba's a little bit sick. He's got some bronchitis or something. The other kids knew they have to come out and put the ball in the hole and do some more things."

Scott Central were a blistering 75 percent (28 for 37) shooting team in the first half.

It eventually led to a 31-11 first quarter lead and then a 66-19 advantage at halftime.

"They're the best," Risco coach Brandon Blankenship said. "They're the best in the state and will most likely roll through to another state title. You want to compete against the best and they're the measuring stick for around here -- for across the state really."

Seven different Braves scored in the opening quarter as they worked their way to an early 9-0 lead.

Senior guard Stewart Johnson netted 19 of his game-high 27 in the opening half. He came alive in the second quarter hitting two of three 3-point attempts as well as three more field goals. He paced the Braves with 14 points in the quarter.

"Stewart can do that," Wright said. "Just like all my kids, they got an ability to put the ball in the hole if given the opportunity. I think he was given a little bit more opportunity tonight. He had a little bit more focus on 'I've got to put the ball in the basket.' Stewart did a good job of taking advantage."

They also drained five 3-pointers on eight attempts as Risco's zone defense tended to sink down in efforts to limit Porter's touches.

"We get a lot of shots up," Wright said. "We don't have to shoot it a lot because we like to get it inside and score around the bucket because we've got a little size. They did a good job of knocking it down. Down the stretch, that's a big thing -- shooting the ball well."

"We just wanted to set the tempo," Porter said. "(Perimeter shooting) was able to open up the paint more and we have to keep doing that. We have to have an inside and outside game."

Although the defense seemed drawn to Porter, that wasn't the Tiger's plan.

"We didn't really try and focus too much attention on him, just because, we had no one to even slow him down -- at all," Blankenship said. "We tried to pack it in a little with the zone and they hit outside shots."

With Porter touching the ball at least once during the Braves' offensive possessions, he looked to pass more than pull up for his patented mid-range jumper as the effects of his sickness tired him quicker. The senior finished with five assists on the night.

"Bubba did a good job of kicking it over to them and getting it to them," said Wright. "The rest of the guys were open when they focused on him a little bit so that gives them a good chance to stick it in the hole. They did a good job."

But, sickness or no sickness, it hardly put a dent in Porter's efforts. He scored 21 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and was 8 of 13 from the floor. He also disrupted Risco's inside shot attempts with six blocks.

"It was kind of tough," Porter said. "But, coach just told me to stick it out."

Senior sixth man Reggie Woodson, who has been a spark off the bench recently, scored six of his 13 points in the first quarter helping to a 31-11 advantage.

"Coach has just been telling me to come off the bench, play hard, hit the boards and make sure I finish at the rim," said Woodson. "He just wants to make sure a pick up the slack when someone's not hitting the boards."

Woodson has been a big lift in his limited time in both the defensive press and rebounding efforts.

"Reggie's done well down the stretch," said Wright. "He's probably our fourth-leading scorer coming off the bench. He does a good job of getting in there, playing hard and working at it."

Junior Lamarcus Steward added 11 of his 17 points in the first two quarters as well.

"Coach usually tells us if we're open, take it," Steward said. "We knew they were probably going to pack it in on (Porter) so coach told us to focus on our shots and hit it."

After a 3-pointer by Risco sophomore Austin White and a 3-point play from junior Chris Pavy, the Braves scored 25 unanswered points to finish off the third quarter. That impressive run included a string of eight-straight and 10 overall from Porter.

However, he found a comfortable seat on the bench shortly after with the win well in hand.

"I started to feel a little bit of a rhythm there," said Porter, "after I was able to catch my breath."

Scott Central went ahead 95-27 at the end of the third frame, leaving little doubt to another Quarterfinal appearance.

Risco, who reached 20 wins for the first time since 1975, didn't stray from their typical game plan. As a matter of fact, other than Porter's intimidating presence under the basket, the Tigers had some success slashing through the Braves' halfcourt defense but the shots just weren't falling.

"We don't do too well when we try and slow it down," Blankenship said. "We just felt like we wouldn't even get shots if we tried to do that. I thought we got some decent looks in the first half. We missed a ton of three's and outside shots and anything close to the basket Otto was swatting."

Risco had trouble finding their stroke as they shot 4 of 19 in the first quarter and 3 of 15 in the second. They combined to go 2 of 10 from behind the arc in the first half and 3 of 19 overall.

"We just had to rely on hitting a ton of outside shots," Blankenship said. "We couldn't do it."

Three players scored eight points for Risco to lead them in scoring -- Chris Pavy, White and Jeremey Fowler. The Tigers finished with a 20-8 record.

"Back to back district titles is pretty big for our school," Blankenship said. "And, we've only got one senior. We got everybody coming back so, we're real excited about the next couple of years."

Scott Central (26-2) will play Chadwick on Saturday at 1 p.m. on the campus of Three Rivers Community College at Poplar Bluff. The winner of that game will head to the Show Me Showdown at Mizzou Arena.

Scott Central31352913--108
Risco118814--41

SCOTT CENTRAL (108) -- Stewart Johnson 27, Trey Johnson 4, Reggie Woodson 13, Lamarcus Steward 17, Otto Porter 21, Dominique Porter 14, Bryan Freed 5, Steven Minner 2, Antonio Johnson 3, Calvin Porter 2. FG 45, FT 10-16, F 10. (3-pointers: S. Johnson 3, Steward 1, Freed 1, A. Johnson 1. Fouled out: none.)

RISCO (41) -- Luke Bixler 6, Chris Pavy 8, Austin White 8, Jordan Pavy 5, Jeremey Fowler 8, Eric Bennett 2, Matt Cummins 2, Brandon Bixler 2. FG 15, FT 8-12, F 11. (3-pointers: White 1, Fowler 2. Fouled out: none.)