CAPE GIRARDEAU -- If the Scott City Rams wanted a chance to knock off the top-seeded Charleston Bluejays, they needed to muster a near flawless game to do it.
As it would turn out, they almost did.
(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
"Scott City played a great game," Charleston head coach Danny Farmer said. "We're not coming out ready to play. I think we kind of underestimated them a little bit. They handled everything well and did everything right to win the game."
The Rams didn't allow themselves to get frazzled by Charleston's tenacious defense, was patient on offense and stayed calm under pressure -- three things that are nearly impossible to do against the 9-1, SEMO Conference champions.
"Our emphasis was to be strong with the ball and be patient," Scott City head coach Mark Dannenmueller said. "We haven't shot the ball as a team well this year but we kind of got it going. We have a good team if we want to be good. It's just confidence.
"I was extremely proud on how we handled their pressure."
Although Scott City (7-3) was able to maintain that presence for the entire first half and most of the second, the Bluejays, being the experienced team that they are, knew just how to finish off the upset-minded eighth seed.
When they needed a basket, Charleston's go-to guy, Greg Tucker, provided one for them. They converted near the basket and completed countless three-point plays when Scott City was only earning two on the other end. Charleston also nailed their freebies during the waning minutes, which iced the game completely.
"Our experience in big games pulled us through," Farmer said. "
The closest Scott City came to overcoming the Bluejays was in the third quarter. Down by one, the Rams were on the brink of taking the upper hand. But Charleston was given a huge lift when Aaron Cassell sank his only 3-pointer of the night while being fouled on the play.
Cassell, who ended up leading the team with 22 points, made his free throw to complete the four-point play and, although it never got completely out of hand and remained close throughout, Scott City never recovered.
"That shot was a huge momentum swing," Dannenmueller said. "You've got to give (Cassell) credit. They made shots when they had to. We kept fighting even after that and hung around. There were so many plays in that game that made a difference but that's part of it."
The Bluejays went into the final quarter with a 51-48 advantage. They outscored the Rams 32-28, mostly on three-point plays and free throws in the last few minutes.
"We knocked down free throws and shots when it counted," Farmer said. "We just did enough to win the game. But, that's not good enough. We're not happy with the way we played because we feel we didn't play well. But, we won the game."
Tucker added 21 points in the win as the Bluejays advanced to the semifinal round against Cape Central on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Scott City was given 22 points from Zach Cotner, 18 points from Jesse Sanders, 14 from Ryan Brock and 12 from Landon Robert.
"In a game like this, when you have a chance to knock off a team like that, that's huge for your program," Dannenmueller said. "We're definitely going to learn from that. It was definitely a positive."
The Rams fall to the fifth place bracket where they will take on Jackson at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
SCOTT CITY (76) -- Landon Robert 12, Jesse Sanders 18, Tyler Adams 2, Jonathan McFall 4, Zach Cotner 22, Ryan Fortner 4, Ryan Brock 14. FG 28. FT 18-21. F 19. (3-pointers: Robert 2. Fouled out: Robert, Sanders.)
CHARLESTON (83) -- Aaron Cassell 22, Ryan Parham 5, Michael Hull 2, Greg Tucker 21, Jamaul Gray 15, Krushon Scott 14, Darrion Carter 4. FG 30. FT 19-28. F 16. (3-pointers: Cassell 1, Tucker 2, Gray 1. Fouled out: none.)
The Scott County Central Braves scored the games first eight points and never trailed as they dispatched of the sixth-seeded Leopold Wildcats, 72-53, during the semifinal round of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament on Tuesday.
"We executed what we wanted to do," Scott Central head coach Kenyon Wright said. "We didn't shoot it all that well, of course, we haven't done that yet up here. We got some shots but they just weren't falling. We finally decided to take it to the goal. That worked out better for us."
Led by Dominique Porter's 29 points, the Braves nullified Leopold's slight height advantage and pulled down 29 total rebounds, including 10 offensive.
If creating a steal from their full-court press didn't work, the Braves were still able to get what they wanted from their true offense with good movement and direct passes to the open shooter.
As a team, Scott Central went 30 of 55 (55 percent) from the field. Dominique Porter went 12 of 21 with his game-leading effort while Jaylen Porter, who finished as the Braves' second leading scorer with 13 points, was a cool 5 of 7.
"I don't think we shot it all that well," Wright said, "but we moved well and we didn't stand around. They executed and focused a little more today and that's what made the difference."
Scott Central, the reigning three-time tournament champion, held a 20-9 lead after the first quarter which ballooned to a 39-21 advantage at the half.
Continuing to pour it on, the Braves outscored Leopold 21-11 in the third quarter, all but sealing it in the process.
Both Tyler Masters and LaMarcus Steward scored 10 points in the Braves' win.
Brandon Jansen led the Wildcats with 15 points, while Kyle Stroder chipped in with another 14.
Scott Central (7-2) is now pitted against the Notre Dame Bulldogs, the tournament's second overall seed. Notre Dame defeated Advance earlier in the night, 72-59, punching their ticket to the semifinal round.
Their matchup will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
LEOPOLD (53) -- Gregg Davis 4, Kyle Stroder 14, D.J. Keim 7, Joe Elfrink 4, James Jansen 6, Cameron Davis 3, Brandon Jansen 15. FG 19. FT 13-20. F 18. (3-pointers: Stroder 2. Fouled out: none.)
SCOTT COUNTY CENTRAL (72) -- Larandis Banks 8, Jaylen Porter 13, Tyler Masters 10, Dominique Porter 29, LaMarcus Steward 10, Kendall Blissett 2. FG 30. FT 11-19. F 19. (3-pointers: Steward 1. Fouled out: none.)
Although they were never truly threatened, the Advance Hornets kept pace with the second-seeded Notre Dame Bulldogs on Tuesday during the quarterfinals of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament, 72-59.
Notre Dame jumped out to a 22-14 lead after the first quarter, but Advance hung around. The Hornets saw themselves down 36-29 at the half.
Advance made a small run at the Bulldogs cutting the lead down to 50-46 at the end of the third, but Notre Dame outscored them 22-13 in the final quarter to put the lid on the tournament's seventh seed.
Nathan Meystedt paced Notre Dame with 23 points while Joe Siebert and Jonathan Lynch added 12 and 11 respectively.
Advance was led by Lane Below's 20 points while Ethan Barr added 15.
Notre Dame will go up against the Scott County Central Braves in the semifinal round on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Advance takes on Leopold in the fifth place bracket at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday as well.
ADVANCE (59) -- Tyler Middleton 1, Hunter Wilson 7, Lane Below 20, Trey Wallace 12, Curtis Gilliliand 4, Ethan Barr 15. FG 26. FT 5-7. F 15. (3-pointers: Wilson 1, Below 1. Fouled out: none.)
NOTRE DAME (72) -- Demonte Farmer 3, Jonathan Lynch 11, Jordan Reddin 4, Nathan Meystedt 23, Patrick Williamson 4, Joe Siebert 12, Cody Heisserer 8, Ryan Hale 7. FG 30. FT 9-21. F 10. (3-pointers: Meystedt 1, Williamson 1, Hale 1. Fouled out: none.)
Tied at the end of three quarters, the Cape Central Tigers pulled out a 78-76 win on Tuesday over rival Jackson on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.
Cape Central's T.J. Tisdell led with a game-high 28 points while Tim Booker added 16.
Karson King scored 23 for the Indians.
Cape Central outscored Jackson 25-23 in the fourth quarter for the difference.
The Tigers will play top-seeded Charleston on Thursday at 6 p.m. while Jackson matches up against Scott City in the fifth place bracket at 3 p.m.
JACKSON (76) -- Josh Daume 9, Caleb Newcomer 14, Braxton McDowell 3, Calvin Lysell 2, Karson King 23, John Meyer 14, Luke Stevens 11. FG 29. FT 12-18. F 25. (3-pointers: Daume 2, Newcomer 2, McDowell 1, King 1. Fouled out: Stevens.)
CAPE CENTRAL (78) -- Ross McClanahan 3, Vance Toole 12, Tim Booker 16, Garan Evans 8, T.J. Tisdell 28, Jamal Cox 11. FG 24. FT 24-36. F 14. (3-pointers: Toole 4, Evans 2. Fouled out: none.)
The Oran Eagles bounced back from their first round loss with a 73-65 win over the Bell City Cubs on Tuesday in the consolation bracket.
Oran had four scorers in double figures with Seth Ressell leading the way with 19 points. Alex Heuring added 17, Kody Moore with 16 and Blake Henson chipped in with 11.
Josh Overbey led Bell City with 24.
With Bell City now out of the tournament, Oran will face Chaffee in the consolation semifinals at noon on Thursday.
BELL CITY (65) -- Jerad Yates 12, Aaron Smith 7, Trey Geiger 10, Josh Overbey 24, Shane Hughes 11, Colen Carpenter 1. FG 23, FT 16-25, F 27. (3-pointers: Smith 1, Geiger 2. Fouled out: Yates, Smith, Geiger.)
ORAN (73) -- Kody Moore 16, Seth Ressel 19, Dalton Elfrink 2, Alex Heuring 17, Blake Henson 11, Adam Schaefer 8. FG 22, FT 26-34, F 19. (3-pointers: Moore 1, Ressel 2. Fouled out: none.)
A big third quarter by the Delta Bobcats propelled them into the consolation semifinals on Tuesday eliminating the Kelly Hawks from the tournament, 62-47.
Tied at 27 at the half, Delta took complete control by outscoring the Hawks 20-4 in the third frame.
Greg Brawley led all scorers with 24 points while Austin Lashley added 17 for Delta as well.
Kelly's Josh Roberts led his squad with 10 points.
Delta will face Oak Ridge in the consolation semifinals on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
KELLY (47) -- Gavin Ray 4, Aaron Grainger 7, Brent Forck 7, Jeff Gates 5, Josh Roberts 10, Derrick Garner 7, Gabe Felter 7. FG 15, FT 12-22, F 14. (3-pointers: Grainger 1, Forck 2, Roberts 1, Garner 1. Fouled out: Garner.)
DELTA (62) -- Greg Brawley 24, Dillon Lincoln 6, David Brawley 4, Dwight Nance 2, Austin Lashley 17, Dallas Naramore 9. FG 26, FT 6-13, F 16. (3-pointers: G. Brawley 4. Fouled out: none.)
Going 23 of 42 from the free throw line, the 11th-seeded Oak Ridge Bluejays defeated Woodland 67-47 on Tuesday.
Ryan Below led Oak Ridge with 15 points while Kyle Rohde added another 10 in the win.
Woodland's Garret Reynolds led with 13 points.
Oak Ridge will take on Delta in the consolation semifinals on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
WOODLAND (47) -- Aaron Yount 6, Garret Reynolds 13, Dakota Long 2, Skyler Liley 10, Sean Magee 2, Lance Yount 6, Codey Miles 8. FG 20. FT 6-14. F 27. (3-pointers: Reynolds 1. Fouled out: Miller, Miles.)
OAK RIDGE (67) -- Ethan Seyer 3, Hunter Seyer 5, Kelby Brown 8, Ryan Below 15, Jake LeGrand 8, Dakota Zoellner 7, Kyle Rohde 10, Ben Stewart 1, Lance Rohde 5, Corvin Schoen 5. FG 20. FT 23-42. F 19. (3-pointers: E. Seyer 1, H. Seyer 1, Brown 2. Fouled out: none.)
Owning Day 2's biggest margin of victory, the Chaffee Red Devils smashed Meadow Heights 85-29 on Thursday to keep their tournament hopes alive.
Chaffee ran out to a 22-8 lead after the first quarter and held Meadow Heights to two points in the second to go up 39-10 at halftime.
Charlie Montgomery scored a game-high 20 points for Chaffee while Alex Crowe and Jordan Yahn chipped in 17 and 14 respectively.
Chaffee, the ninth seed, will play Oran at noon on Thursday in the consolation semifinals.
MEADOW HEIGHTS (29) -- Josh Douglas 13, Justin McGuire 2, Lucas Shrum 4, Hunter Fulbright 6, Ryan Foltz 1, Steven Bright 3. FG 12. FT 2-8. F 13. (3-pointers: Douglas 3. Fouled out: none.)
CHAFFEE (85) -- Alex Crowe 17, Peyton Montgomery 6, Zach Dannenmueller 3, Cody Johnson 2, Layton Tenkhoff 10, Jordan Yahn 14, Alex Davie 8, Bronson Daniels 5, Charlie Montgomery 20. FG 35. FT 12-20. F 7. (3-pointers: Crowe 2, Daniels 1. Fouled out: none.)