(David Jenkin/Standard Democrat)
SIKESTON -- A fast start by the Scott County Central Braves helped them cruise to a win Friday night, defeating the Portageville Bulldogs, 94-68.
"Well, we ran into a buzzsaw," Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell said. "We were hoping that we had enough wind. We probably gave them too much time off after the Bloomfield tournament, But, my hats off to coach Cookson, they were ready to play. They're fun to watch, but not very fun to play against."
The Braves ran out of the gate, putting 32 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter.
Scott County put up 18 more points during the second quarter, to make the score 50-31 going into half time.
It looked like smooth sailing from then on out for the Braves, but the second half saw the Bulldogs go on a run and cut the lead down to 14 points in the third quarter.
"We felt like we were doing a decent job breaking the press," Bidewell said about the third quarter. "Then we would make a silly turnover or they would just come down and knock a 3-pointer down, and just take the wind out of our sail. They can do that, it's not a fluke. They can do it game in and game out."
D.D. Gillespie was the one who would knock down those 3-pointers, hitting five of them on the night. Gillespie finished with a game high of 26 points.
"I thought the kids played hard," Braves head coach Ronnie Cookson said. "I knew Portageville was going to be tough. I don't care how many times they have been beat this year or anything else, they're going to play your britches off. Bidewell does a great job, he always has and he's going to have a tough ballclub before its all over with. He'll surprise a lot of people at the end of the year because they're going to keep improving.
"I hope that we can keep improving because if we level off, someone like them will come up and nail us."
Drew Thomas scored 19 points for the Braves, and Caleb Johnson added 17 points.
Scott Central had a good performance from their bench as well, scoring 24 points.
"The bench came up and did a great job," Cookson said. "Toby Heeb's really good about coming in a giving us a heck of a lift. He plays hard, but he gets in foul trouble. The reason why he fouls some much is because he hustles so hard. That's what he needs to do, he needs to do that. Timmons also came in and gave us a big lift."
Although Heeb did not score, he did force a few turnovers throughout the game, he also recorded four fouls. Randy Timmons chipped in with eight points and grabbed five rebounds.
Portageville was led by Byron Wright with 21 points. Dometric Trotter also added 18 points.
Scott County Central's (10-2) next game will be at East Prairie to take on the Eagles Jan. 8. Portageville (6-5) will host Caruthersville for their next game also on Jan. 8.
In junior varsity action, the Braves pulled off the win defeating the Bulldogs, 57-28.
Andropolis McClinton led the Braves with 13 points, Stewart Johnson was right behind him with 11.
Portageville was led by Jake Young with 9 points and Fernando Minnis added 6 points.