Thanks to dual 19-point efforts from Jaylen Porter and Tyler Masters, however, the Braves eventually put the Hawks in their rearview for a 72-51 win to push over the .500 mark on the season.
"We just kind of weathered the storm and that's what we have to learn how to do," Scott Central head coach Frank Staple said. "Teams are going to make a run and we just have to be mentally tough, keep doing what we do and it will work out."
Kelly took advantage of a sluggish start by the Braves (11-10) to build their biggest lead of the night, at 13-6, midway through the first quarter. Back-to-back buckets from Masters and Porter soon after closed Scott Central to within a score and by the end of the first they had knotted things up, 15-15.
From there, the Braves seized control of the contest taking their first lead of the night on a pair Chris Brown free throws to open the second. Brown's shots opened up a four minute, 10-1 run where Scott Central pull ahead 25-16 with 4:13 left in the half.
The Braves pulled ahead by as many as 12 points in the final minutes of the second quarter before heading into the locker room with a 36-26 advantage.
"Early on in the game we made some shots and hung around there," Kelly head coach Josh Eftink said. "Then later on they got several easy shots and put-back rebounds on us."
Amping up the press to start the second half, Scott Central put together their most impressive three minutes of the half as the Hawks struggled to push the ball up the floor.
The resulting Kelly turnovers allowed the Braves to hold them without a field goal through the first three minutes of the half while scoring 11-straight points pushing their lead to 47-26.
The Hawks soon adjusted and closed back within 15 points of the Braves with an 8-4 run. By the end of the third frame, Kelly trailed by 19 points at 55-36.
Scott Central maintained their 19-point edge with 3:36 to play only to see the Hawks make one more push.
Josh Robert started the rally with his third 3-pointer of the night and in the span of just over a minute the Hawks put together an 8-2 run that closed them back within 13 points with two minutes to play.
Before Kelly could make things interesting, Scott Central closed out the game scoring four-straight baskets in the final minute to make up the final.
Staples credited a strong defensive effort by his team with providing the Braves with a few much-needed runs in the second half.
"That's the reason why you play like that," Staple said. "Eventually, hopefully that press will take over and you'll be able to make a little run. A 5-0 run here, a 6-0 run there -- it can change a five-point lead to a 20-point lead in just a couple minutes."
Masters' biggest run came in the second frame, where he collected eight points during a 21-11 Brave run while Porter scored all but five of his points in the second half.
Kendall Blissett and Chris Brown scored 11 and 10 points respectively to leave Scott Central with four players in double-digits.
"I thought Masters had a big night for us rebounding wise," Staple said. "Him and Kendall Blissett both did a good job. Tyreek Willams and sophomore Javonte Daniel stepped in and did a really good job for us as well."
For Kelly, Robert had a team-high 18 points including three of the Hawks' five 3-pointers on the night. Gaven Ray was second on the team with 14.
In the night's junior varsity contest, the Braves picked up another win riding a 22-point first quarter to a 71-49 win. The Braves outscored the Hawks 22-5 in the first frame and by the half built a 25-point lead.
Matt Blissett had a game-high 22 points for the Braves while Daniel contributed 14. Ty Householder led Kelly with eight points.
KELLY (51) -- Gaven Ray 14, Austin Williamson 3, Anthony Klunk 3, Trey Walker 5, Brent Forck 6, Josh Roberts 18, Derrick Garner 2. FG 17, FT 12-19, F 21. (3-pointers: Walker 1, Forck 1, Roberts 3. Fouled out: none.)
SCOTT CENTRAL (72) -- Alvin Gibson 2, Chris Brown 10, Jaylen Porter 19, Tyler Masters 19, Javonte Daniel 5, Kendall Blissett 11, Jeffery Porter 2, Cameron Blissett 2, Tyreek Williams 2. FG 28, 16-25, F 17. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none.)