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Braves rout Oran for tourney title
SCC captured the Scott-Mississippi Conference title with a 99-47 victory
BENTON, Mo. -- There were no surprises during the championship game of the Scott-Mississippi Conference tournament Monday night at Kelly High School.
As expected, the No. 1-ranked and two-time defending Class 1 state champion Scott County Central Braves blew out their opponent.
As expected, the Braves' relentless defense forced turnover after turnover.
As expected, Otto Porter wowed the crowd with a remarkably complete set of basketball skills and a forceful dunk in a routine 31-point performance -- if there is such a thing as a routine 31-point performance.
Yes, as expected, Scott County Central defeated Oran, a team it already defeated by more than 50 points this season. The score was 99-47 this time.
So with all of that expected by pretty much everyone before the game tipped, you might think it's hard for the Braves to find motivation.
"No, not really," Trey Johnson responded to the suggestion. "Because we're used to it."
So what motivates them?
"Coach's pep talks," Johnson said. "That's what it is."
So what does coach say?
"You don't want to know," Johnson said with a smile and a laugh. "You don't. You don't."
Senior Stewart Johnson, who finished with 17 points, agreed.
"It's coach," he said. "He says every second, every minute, every day, so I mean it's kind of installed in our head. He kind of got us tamed with playing hard."
SCC coach Kenyon Wright said the task isn't an easy one.
"It's tough to keep kids focused on the goal and situation," he said. "If they'll keep focused on that from here on throughout the season, that's going to help them. I think that'll really help them keep that intensity and that demeanor that you've got to go out there and play every game like it's the last time you get to play together."
The Braves forced three turnovers in the first four Oran possessions and eventually led 21-3 to start the game.
"That's what coach looks for every game -- to come out hard every game," Trey Johnson said. "We didn't do it the other night, but for some reason we came out tonight just to get ready for tomorrow night."
The consensus among players and Wright was that the Braves had not played their best in a 79-48 win over Chaffee in the semifinal round and that they needed to play better to prepare for tonight's meeting with Notre Dame, which beat them on their home court a season ago.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Stewart Johnson, who missed last year's matchup. "They came into our house and beat us, so we've got to try to go there and take one from them."
The plan will be the same as it is most every other night.
"We've just got to come out and execute," he said. "We've just got to come out and stay on top of our game plan and not play sloppy.
"We know we've got to come out and play hard. When we play hard, everything else is going to come."
And has coach said anything about the game yet?
"Oh yeah," Trey Johnson said. "Coach was in there talking about it before we walked out. He said we celebrate about five minutes and then think about tomorrow."
Wright said he was looking forward to the rematch and was pleased with his team's performance Monday.
"The kids wanted to come in here and win this conference championship and they got that accomplished. I know the kids I got are funny some of them," he said not long after watching his players laugh while talking about their pregame routine. "They come in here and they got their heads screwed on straight and I think they focused a little bit better tonight than they did the other night and they've got a big one tomorrow. Notre Dame's a good basketball team, always have been, and we get a chance to come back and redeem ourself from last year when we played them."
ORAN (47) -- Caleb Priggel 2, Nathan Michelson 6, Preston Scherer 3, Dylan Adams 7, Kody Moore 5, Tyler Huering 4, Dillon Kimball 5, Zac Chasteen 4, Reece Mangels 2, Jon Morrow 4, Blake Henson 5. FG 19, FT 3-3, F 12. (3-pointers: Michelson 2, Scherer 1, Adams 1, Moore 1, Kimball 1. Fouled out: none)
SCC (99) -- Pobst 4, Stewart Johnson 17, Trey Johnson 6, Reggie Woodson 6, LaMarcus Steward 8, Otto Porter 31, Dominique Porter 15, Bryan Freed 3, Calvin Porter 2, TJ Coleman 3, Ben Freed 4. (3-pointers: D. Porter 1. Fouled out: none)