Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament notebook

Friday, December 28, 2012

Scott County Central coach Frank Staple has tried to ease Otto Porter's little brother into varsity basketball.

Jeffery Porter recently began playing with the varsity on a regular basis, and the 5-foot-10 freshman made his Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament debut Thursday.

Jeffery Porter showed glimpses of his potential with nine points and a solid all-around performance as the fourth-seeded Braves beat 13th-seeded Woodland 76-41 in the first round.

"Early on, we didn't play him a lot," Staple said. "We knew he was capable of playing. We wanted to ease him in. He's here now.

"He looked good. He'll get better. He's definitely going to help us."

Jeffery Porter will certainly have a ways to go to become as well-known as his older brother.

Otto Porter is a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward at Georgetown who is projected as a future first-round NBA draft pick. He helped lead SCC to Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The Braves also captured Class 1 state crowns all three of those years.

"He [Jeffery] doesn't have a lot of pressure on his shoulders," Staple said. "I'm sure he puts pressure on himself to live up to his big brother, but we just need him to be himself."

Parham out indefinitely

Charleston's all-state captain Ryan Parham did not dress for the top-seeded Bluejays' game against Delta, the second straight game the defending Class 3 state champions played without their standout point guard.

His team did just fine without him in routing the Bobcats 107-24, but the Bluejays will have to continue to play without him for an indefinite amount of time.

Parham said he has both an ankle and a hamstring injury. The ankle injury happened a couple weeks ago, while he originally injured his hamstring a couple years ago. It just recently starting bothering him again.

Parham walked without crutches or any noticeable limp and even shot around with his team at halftime, but he seemed genuinely unsure if he would play today and when he'd make his return.

Charleston coach Larry Farmer was noncommittal on Parham's return.

"It's game by game," Farmer said.

Bombs away

Notre Dame's prowess at shooting from long distance was on display again during the third-seeded Bulldogs' 98-14 rout of Bell City.

Six different players connected on nine 3-pointers for the Bulldogs.

"We're a pretty good shooting team," said junior guard Dalton Welch, who hit two from long range. "When we get hot like that, it'll be a good night for us."

Welch credited Notre Dame's post players -- notably sophomores Tanner Shively and Jordan Barber -- with being effective inside to the point the Bulldogs' perimeter players had wide-open looks.

"We played team basketball," Bulldogs coach Kevin Roberts said. "We shared the ball well, made the extra pass and guarded really well."

Officially speaking

For Al McFerren, the superintendent of Scott County Central schools, The Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament is a time for catching up with old friends.

McFerren, in his 38th year of officiating high school basketball, figures this is his 25th Christmas Tournament.

"This is my vacation away from the things we do on a normal basis," he said. "I see the same faces, the same people, and we visit, and I catch up with them and their families. I just make my way around the arena and visit with some old friends."

He worked the day's first two games, then spent some time rooting for SCC from the seats behind the Braves' bench.

"Here you get a chance to support your kids as well," he said. "I like the kids to see me in this particular light as well, as someone who supports what they do on the court as well as in the classroom."

-- From staff reports

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