(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Second-seeded Scott County Central's night might not have started how they expected Wednesday against seventh-seeded Delta, but the end result was just the same.
Overcoming a sluggish start, the Braves scored a combined 66 points in the second and third quarters to rout the Bobcats, 96-48, and advance to the Scott-Mississippi Conference semifinals.
"We've been off for a couple days because of the weather and everything," Scott Central head coach Frank Staple said. "I knew we'd come out a little rusty. We came out kind of slow, but we picked it up a little bit in the second half.
"Give credit to Delta. They came out ready to play and hit some shots. Those kids are fighters. That's all credit to Delta."
The six-time defending conference champions came out looking like anything but in the opening quarter as missed shots piled up, allowing the Bobcats to tie things up at 6-6 four minutes in.
Three-straight buckets by the Braves gave them a little separation, but with 4:28 left in the half Delta closed back to within five at 29-24.
Not long after a basket in the paint from Jeffery Porter seemed to kick-start the Braves' offense, at the same time they'd go on to hold Delta to only one field goal in the final four minutes of the quarter.
Porter's bucket was followed up by an open layup from Larandis Banks and in the span of just over two minutes Scott Central reeled off 15-straight points.
Dillon Lincoln finally broke up the Bobcats' scoring drought with 33 seconds remaining in the half, only to see the Braves score another six points in the final 24 seconds to go into the locker room leading 50-26.
Leading Scott Central's second quarter charge, Banks and Jaylen Porter scored 13 and eight points respectively after only scoring a combined three buckets in the first frame.
"Those are our two," Staple said of Banks and Porter. "We have to have those guys going all out and as they go the team goes. I think we just kind of woke up and started playing a little harder (in the second quarter). We picked up our effort."
In the second half the the Braves feasted on empty Delta possessions, turning them into easy lay ups as they nearly matched the game-high 34 points they scored in the second quarter.
After trading a couple points with the Bobcats to start the third Scott Central went on a 28-3 run, capping it with 19-straight points to go ahead 80-31.
At the end of the frame, the Braves maintained their 49-point advantage and easily rolled through a turbo-clocked fourth.
"That's the way we have to play," Staple said of the second half. "We have to win games we're supposed to win and put it away when we're suppose to. It's going to get tough (tonight)."
Banks led the Braves on a night where they had five scorers post double-digit totals. He finished with 19 points, scoring 17 of those in the second and third quarters. Porter and Tyler Masters scored 18 points each while Cameron Blissett and Kendall Blissett scored 12 and 11 points respectively.
Lincoln made up the majority of the Bobcats' offense, scoring a game-high 24 points while hitting all five of Delta's 3-pointers in the game.
Scott Central moves on the play third-seed Scott City tonight at 8:30 p.m. in the semifinals. The Rams will come into the contest with two days rest after a 69-35 win over East Prairie in the opening round on Monday.
"It's going to be a challenge," Staple said of facing Scott City. "They're a good team that's well coached. They have some good players, especially their big guy (Ryan Brock), so they'll be ready.
"It's going to be an absolute battle and we're going to have to play a heck of a lot better than we did tonight."
DELTA (48) -- David Brawley 5, Trever Glaus 4, Tanner Schabbing 8, Dillon Lincoln 24, Dwight Nance 5, Austin White 1. FG 18, FT 7-13, F 14. (3-pointers: Lincoln 5. Fouled out: Schabbing.)
SCOTT CENTRAL (96) -- Alvin Gipson 3, Larandis Banks 19, Jaylen Porter 18, James McClinton 5, Tyler Masters 18, Kendall Blissett 11, Jeffery Porter 7, Cameron Blissett 12. FG 41, FT 10-19, F 15. (3-pointers: McClinton 1. Fouled out: none.)