Christmas Tournament: Jackson stands tall in quarterfinal win over Scott County Central

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Scott County Central had no answer for Jackson's size.

The result was an 85-67 Jackson romp in a quarterfinal of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament at the Show Me Center.

The fifth-seeded Indians, who returned to the tournament semifinals after losing in last year's quarterfinals, scored inside at will all night Friday against the fourth-seeded Braves.

"You gotta use your advantages," 6-foot-5 junior wing Karson King said. "Take care of the ball and feed the post, let them go to work. It was their night tonight."

Of Jackson's 35 field goals, all but a couple came from within a few feet of the basket. The Indians (6-4) didn't make a 3-pointer -- not that it was necessary.

"We did take advantage of our size real well," 6-7 sophomore post Blake Reynolds said. "Our guards were able to get it inside to us."

Jackson features six players 6-4 or taller, including 6-8 junior post Brandon Lueders. SCC's roster lists three players over 5-11, the tallest being 6-3.

The Indians took full advantage of the mismatches, repeatedly feeding Reynolds and Lueders inside for easy buckets.

Reynolds scored 21 points and Lueders had 14. King also had a big night with 19 points.

"We got the ball where it needed to be," said Jackson coach Darrin Scott, whose squad shot 52.2 percent from the field compared to 37.3 percent for SCC. "Our bigs did a good job of finishing."

Jackson also had plenty of put-backs and fast-break layups as SCC's press did little damage.

"It feels good to get out and run," King said.

Scott said Reynolds had a strong preseason but lost some confidence early in the campaign. That hasn't been an issue lately.

"He's really got his confidence back," Scott said.

SCC (6-6) coach Frank Staple had his worst fears realized when the Indians were constantly able to pound the ball inside.

"We knew that was going to be the big factor," Staple said of Jackson's size advantage. "We emphasized help defense, help defense. We didn't do that enough and they kind of destroyed us inside.

"They kind of dictated the game. We didn't get a lot out of our press."

Jackson scored the game's first six points and never trailed, although SCC battled back for a 16-16 tie. The Indians spurted back on top 27-19 at the end of the opening period.

SCC hung tough most of the second quarter and entered the break down 42-33.

But the Indians scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to open up a 52-33 lead and they cruised the rest of the way. Their biggest advantage was 27 points in the final period.

"It was a great performance," Reynolds said. "I thought we played really well and we defended well."

Scott said the Indians have continued to improve as a whole as their guards have improved on taking care of the ball, which was a sore spot early in the season.

"The biggest thing, our composure has gotten better. Our guards are doing a better job," said Scott, who has played recent games without starting junior point guard Josh Daume, out with a stress fracture.

Junior guard Larandis Banks paced the Braves with 18 points.

Freshman guard Jeffery Porter and senior forward Tyler Masters both scored 13 points. Senior guard Jaylen Porter added 11 points.

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