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Scott County Central pulls away from Malden in Oran Invitational semifinals
ORAN, Mo. -- Out of the corner of his eye, Jaylen Porter saw the scoreboard.
Malden had just pulled within five points of Scott County Central, 49-44, with 1 minute, 53 seconds left in the third period of their Oran Tournament boys basketball semifinal Thursday night.
Porter knew it was time to take control.
The Scott County Central senior point guard hit a turnaround jumper in the lane, then quickly got a steal at the other end of the court. He drilled a short baseline jumper then, following a turnover, drove the lane for a layup and drew a foul, calmly converting the three-point play.
The Braves' lead was back to 12 points, a little breathing room.
The quick flurry doused Malden's hope of a rally, and sparked the Braves to a 91-67 victory.
The win lifts Scott County Central into tonight's tournament final, where it will meet Advance, 71-56 winners over Oran in Thursday's nightcap.
"He's one of our senior leaders," Scott County Central coach Frank Staple said of Porter. "He knows when we need to slow down and when we need a big offensive possession. He did a great job tonight. He stepped up and hit some big shots today."
Porter had 27 points to lead the Braves (2-2), but he wasn't a one-man show. Teammate Larandis Banks added 24, and Tyler Masters, a 6-foot-3 senior center, had 17. Masters was a key for the Braves early, consistently finding the middle of Malden's full-court zone press to help get the ball upcourt, then positioning himself in the high post, where he either drove the lane or dished off to Porter or Banks on the wing for open shots.
"We just had to get the ball to the middle," Masters said about breaking Malden's press. "As soon as we got it to the middle, we had it broke."
Every time the Green Wave made a rally, the Braves had an answer. Malden led 11-10 late in the first period, but Scott County Central closed the quarter with a 6-0 run. Malden knotted the score at 16-16 before a Braves' 8-0 run made it 24-16. Porter sparked an 8-2 run with three baskets as the Braves opened a 39-28 lead at halftime.
The closest Malden got after that was 49-44 late in the third.
"We know basketball is a game of runs," Staples said. "We just told the kids to stay the course."
Malden coach Yevgent Sokolov was pround of the way his team competed.
"We tried to slow things down on offense, and on defense play our 2-3 zone," he said. "We had to slow the game down and start being more patient, move the ball more than usual.
"It's really tough to come back against that kind of team. Our big guys just have to get stronger."
Malden's Cortez Dobbins, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, led all scorers with 29 points, most coming on an array of slashing moves in the paint. Teammate Romello McCoy added 15.
SCOTT COUNTY CENTRAL (91) -- Chris Brown 2, Larandis Banks 24, Tyler Masters 17, Alex Johnson 2, Blain Johnson 2, Jaylen Porter 27, Kendall Blisset 11, Cameron Blisset 2, Tyreek Williams 4. FG: 39. FT: 9-18. F: 21. (3-pointers: Banks 1. Fouled out: K. Blisset.)
MALDEN (67) -- Malik Perkins 12, Dajuan Criglar 6, Gunner Jones 2, Edwin Hale 8, Cortez Dobbins 29, Romello McCoy 15. FG: 24. FT: 14-25. F: 18. (3-pointers: Dobbins 2. Fouled out: Hale.)
Consolation semifinal Chaffee 81, Bell City 67
Peyton Montgomery and Charlie Montgomery each scored 22 points as Chaffee held off Bell City 81-67 in a consolation semifinal of the Oran Tournament.
Chaffee led by three, 52-49, heading into the final period but outscored Bell City 29-18 in the final frame.
Jared Yates topped Bell City with 22 points, while McKenzie Vires added 20.
Bell City (67) -- Jared Yates 22, Nolan Schaefer 15, Aaron Smith 6, Trey Geiger 2, Jeremy Green 2, McKenzie Vires 20. FG: 27. FT: 7-11. F: 21. (3-pointers: Yates 4, Vives 1. Fouled out: Smith, Schaefer.)
Chaffee (81) -- Peyton Montgomery 22, Cody Johnson 5, Leyton Tenkhoff 7, Jared Walker 15, Jimmy Golden 4, Tyler Golden 6, Charlie Montgomery 22. FG: 31. FT: 15-24. F: 14. (3-pointers: Johnson 1. Fouled out: None.)