(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
ORAN -- Although he may have had the numbers to back it up, Scott Central's Dominique Porter is not in the business of filling the shoes of Otto Porter.
Dominique Porter, one of the Braves' senior leaders, poured in a game-high 47 points on Thursday during the semifinals of the Oran Invitational Tournament helping the Braves dispatch of the Malden Green Wave 88-57.
It's by far the most points he has scored in his varsity career, but Porter knows this year's version of the Braves must remain team-oriented.
"Ever since we lost Otto, we've became a family and rely more on the basics," Dominique Porter said. "We have to do more of the small stuff to make up for the big stuff that he did.
"I'm just out here to play my game. I'm not trying to do it individually, just for the team and try to get the win."
Porter was everywhere on the floor for Scott Central. The 5-11 guard hauled in seven rebounds and had six steals. He cleaned up misses and simply attacked the basket during breakaways by swirling around defenders and banking in layups.
"I didn't think I had that many," Porter admitted. "It shocked me to know I had that many."
The senior shot 17 of 32 from the field and was 3 of 8 from behind the arc.
"We're a basketball team," Scott Central coach Kenyon Wright said. "We're all in it for the 'we', not the 'me' and they're buying into that. (Porter) played his butt off and he set the tone for everybody to keep that intensity up and we have to keep having that. We don't have any superstars. They get out there and work their butts off and I'm proud of them for that."
The Green Wave hung with the Braves for just over a half of the first quarter. A steal and layup by Malden's Cortez Dobbins pulled the tournament's fourth seed within one point, 9-8.
Starting with the first of his three 3-pointers on the night, Porter ignited the Braves into a 14-3 run to close out the first quarter. Porter, one of the senior leaders for the Braves, scored 10 of those points to put Scott Central up 23-11 going into the second quarter.
"We're just trying to show the younger ones coming up what they have to do," Porter said.
Defensively, the Braves were stout. They stole the ball away from Malden 27 times on the night, which led to most of their points on the other end.
"We were doing good on our press," Porter said. "We switched it up a little and started pressuring the ball because they weren't that good of a ball handling team."
Uncharacteristically, however, the Braves turned the ball over 22 times which is something Wright said needs to be cleaned up.
"We had a lot of turnovers," he said. "If we're going to be any kind of successful, that can't happen again."
Scott Central closed the first half with three consecutive steals -- two by Porter and one by LaMarcus Steward -- which led to three-straight baskets. The top-seeded Braves led 49-26 at the half.
The Braves (2-2) opened the third frame with an 11-5 run and ended the quarter up 72-47. By that time, the game was well out of hand.
Larandis Banks was the Braves' second leading scorer with 15 points. The sophomore also added eight rebounds.
Scott Central advances to their fourth-straight OIT title game tonight against second-seeded Advance at 8 p.m. The Braves are the tournament's three-time defending champion.
MALDEN (57) -- Malik Perkins 8, Cortez Dobbins 8, Quentin Johns 14, Romello McCoy 7, Jonsha Robinson 13, Anthony Hughes 7. FG 22 FT 9-23 F 18 (3-pointers: Perkins 2, Dobbins 1, Hughes 1. Fouled out: none.)
SCOTT CENTRAL (88) -- Larandis Banks 15, Jalen Porter 11, Chris Brown 2, Tyler Masters 3, Antonio Johnson 3, Dominique Porter 47, LaMarcus Steward 7. FG 35 FT 11-20 F 20 (3-pointers: Banks 1, J. Porter 1, Masters 1, D. Porter 3. Fouled out: none.)