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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Scott Central shoots down NMCC 71-55

Saturday, February 4, 2012

(Photo)
Scott County Central's Dominique Porter puts up a shot over JaShawn McDaniel on Friday night at New Madrid. Chris Pobst, Staff
NEW MADRID -- It's been a struggle at times for the Scott County Central Braves to have the touch from the floor this season.

Most of their buckets against lesser teams come from layups that stem from forced turnovers which give the illusion of above average field goal percentages.

But on Friday night, the Braves made their stigma of a poor shooting team disappear as they lit up the floor in the first half to down the New Madrid County Central Eagles 71-55 to ruin the Eagles' homecoming.

"We've been putting in the time and the work we need to do to get those shots down," Scott Central senior Dominique Porter said. "Coming into districts here in a few weeks, we're going to have to get those shots down.

"We have to practice mostly on our offense."

Scott Central's leading scorer, Dominique Porter, led his squad with 25 points on 10 of 26 shooting. He also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.

On top of battling their shooting woes throughout the season, the Braves have also had to deal with the absence of head coach Kenyon Wright who suffered head injuries due to a two-car accident early last week.

Wright has missed Scott Central's last three games.

"It's sad that he's going through that," Dominique Porter said about his coach's misfortunes. "We're trying to take this bad thing and turn it into a positive thing. Every game is motivation for us to go harder out there for coach."

Added assistant coach Frank Staple, who has taken the reigns while Wright has been away, "The guys have rallied together. Coach Wright actually came out to the school (Friday) and talked to them which really had them going. We're just trying to hold it down until he gets back. Hopefully, we can keep it going for him."

Feeding off of Wright's pep talk earlier in the day, Scott Central showed off what they have been practicing.

The Braves drained five of their first seven shots which included seven points from Larandis Banks. They finished the first quarter 9 of 14 from the floor (64 percent) and was 2 of 4 from behind the arc.

Scott Central (13-7) led 22-9 after the first eight minutes.

"That's big for us because a lot of times we go on dry spells and its tough for us to score," Staple said. "When we're hitting, it opens things up for us and it gets the kids going."

The Braves continued to pound away in the second frame opening with a 10-2 run that was sparked by a thunderous one-handed dunk by Banks who was fouled on the play.

Banks scored 14 of his 16 total points in the first half while Jalen Porter added all of his 12 points in the first two quarters as well.

Banks finished 6 of 11 from the floor while Jalen Porter was 5 of 7.

"We knew we'd have to come down and get shots," Staple said. "We knew they were big, athletic and physical. Those shots were falling and that helped us out."

Scott Central led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter until a basket by Chilis Johnson, who paced NMCC with 17 points, brought it back to a 14-point game.

A 7-0 run to end the quarter pushed the Braves' lead back to 21 as they led 44-23 at the break.

"We can't dig ourselves into holes like that," NMCC head coach Travis Day said. "To me, early turnovers gave them easy baskets. With a team like that, they're not going to let you out of that hole."

Scott Central shot 55 percent (16 of 29) in the first half while NMCC struggled from the floor going 9 of 30 (29 percent).

"That's the message we wanted to get across is that we can get those shots down," Dominique Porter said. "We wanted to show everybody that we've been working in the gym on our offense."

Although they came out strong, Scott Central's shooting touch had escaped them in the third quarter.

The Braves managed just three field goals (3 of 15) while NMCC began to find their momentum by starting the third frame with a 10-2 run.

A conventional 3-point play by CJ Chism pulled the Eagles to within 13 points, 46-33. Nearly four minutes later, Johnson gave the home crowd a jolt with a one-handed slam that triggered a 7-0 to end the quarter.

NMCC found themselves down by just nine points entering the fourth quarter.

"After we got down, I think we figured out that we had to do our gameplan," Day said. "I didn't know what they had to do to calm themselves down but we had to come out to a better start in the second half."

Two free throws by NMCC's Lamonte Nelson with 3:06 left in the final frame once again closed the gap to nine points, 58-49. A string of six straight points by the Braves shortly after dashed any hopes of a late game comeback by the Eagles.

"We wanted to be patiently aggressive there," Staple said about NMCC's late game push. "We wanted to weather that storm and, fortunately, we were able to do that."

LaMarcus Steward, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter, finished with 13 points and eight assists to round out Scott Central's four scorers in double figures.

Freshman Willie Jimmerson added 10 points to NMCC's cause while Chism ended with eight. The Eagles was a cool 18 of 20 from the free throw line.

"We played well in spurts but we had just too many little mistakes," said Day. "I think they killed us on the boards and that was the game to me. We had moments where our shots weren't falling, but, they will fall. We just have to keep after it."

Scott Central's third quarter dragged their shooting percentage down as they finished with a 31 percent average in the second half. They ended the game shooting 42 percent.

Scott Central2222720--71
NMCC9141913--55

SCOTT CENTRAL (71) -- Larandis Banks 16, Jalen Porter 12, Tyler Masters 4, Antoine Johnson 1, Dominique Porter 25, LaMarcus Steward 13. FG 26 FT 13-21 F 16 (3-pointers: Banks 1, J. Porter 2, D. Porter 2, Steward 1. Fouled out: D. Porter.)

NMCC (55) -- Earl Grissom 6, Lamonte Nelson 5, Willie Jimmerson 10, JaShawn McDaniels 6, CJ Chism 8, Chilis Johnson 17, Darin McGloson 3. FG 18 FT 18-20 F 22 (3-pointers: Nelson 1. Fouled out: Armondo Thatch.)