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Scott City boys basketball team turns on defense, beats Arcadia Valley
The Rams reached the title game in Class 3 District 3
The Scott City Rams forced 30 turnovers.
It was that defensive prowess that led them to a 63-44 upset of Arcadia Valley in the Class 3 District 3 semifinals Tuesday at Saxony Lutheran High School.
The third-seeded Rams forced 15 turnovers in each half and used their defensive pressure to jump start their offense against the second-seeded Tigers.
"When we want to we're a pretty good defensive team," Scott City coach Mark Dannenmueller said. "We pressure well. We have a lot of quickness, and that's something I knew early on in the season was going to be one of our strengths. We got down, we had active hands, we got kids in the passing lanes.
"I don't know how many times we forced them to pick up their dribble at the top of the key, just completely took them out of what they wanted to do, and that's a credit to our guards pressuring."
The Rams looked poised for an upset from the opening tip, taking a 6-2 lead and settling for a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Scott City struggled from beyond the arc in the quarter but made up for it with 8 of 9 shooting inside.
"We shot 2s well," Dannenmueller said. "I think at halftime we were 2 of 12 from [behind the arc], and we're usually a pretty good shooting team from the outside. But I thought in the first quarter, early on those kids were excited, playing with confidence, and that's all of them. Coming out and playing hard, they wanted it from the opening tip. I can't really say much else. They were getting to the spots and hitting shots."
Scott City's offense sputtered in the second quarter but the defense compensated.
The Rams managed just nine points on 4 of 16 shooting but still extended their lead to 29-19 by halftime. The Tigers scored just eight points on 2 of 7 shooting.
A key area for the Rams was stopping the inside game of the Tigers.
"That's something we really emphasized," Dannenmueller said. "We watched them play Woodland the other night and we knew if we put enough pressure on the ball then they would have trouble getting the ball inside. Our big guys played hard inside. They were tough and they were physical. They did a pretty good without fouling. Our guards were all over them and our big men were playing just as hard as they were inside."
The second half looked to get off to a horrific start for Scott City when ten seconds remained on the clock and no player or coach was on the court, but the Rams proved in the opening minutes it was a fluke.
Scott City put the game away in the opening minutes of the second half with an 11-0 spurt. Zach Cotner scored five points in the run that put the Rams ahead 40-19.
"We've been having a lot of hard practices this past week," Cotner said. "[We had] probably the hardest practice we've ever had during the whole season. A lot of people have been doubting us and stuff, but we come out here and do all our practices and show them on the court what we're capable of. We like to turn people's heads."
Scott City forced nine turnovers in the third quarter.
"It was probably the best defense we've ever had all year," Cotner said. "I'd like to give a lot of credit to our main guard Justin Modglin. He gave a full effort. It's his senior year."
Cotner scored nine of his game-high 17 points in the quarter.
The Tigers managed one last rally in the fourth quarter, forcing nine turnovers in the period and cutting the lead to 48-36 midway with about four minutes left.Scott City answered the run with a 10-0 burst to seal the win.
ARCADIA VALLEY (44) -- Caleb Sutton 7, Devante Hartman 4, Austin Twomey 2, Cliffird Williams 4, Kyle Sutton 10, J.T. Usher 2, Garret Adams 9, Brian Little 6. FG 15, FT 11-17, F 11. (3-pointers: Adams, K. Sutton 2. Fouled out: none)
SCOTT CITY (63) -- Logan Henson 6, Landon Robert 11, Jesse Sanders 10, Hunter Cox 3, Justin Modglin 3, Zachary Cotner 17, Corey Rogers 6, Ryan Brock 7. FG 27, FT 6-10, F 15. (3-pointers: Robert 2, Modglin. Fouled out: none)