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Scott County Central boys basketball team rallies past Scott City in conference tournament
MORLEY, Mo. -- Scott City had 'em on the ropes, but just couldn't deliver the knockout punch.
Scott County Central clawed its was back from a double-digit, third-quarter deficit, then hung on for a thrilling 76-72 victory in the semifinals of the Scott-Mississippi Conference boy basketball tournament Thursday night.
Larandis Banks scored 22 points and Jaylen Porter added 18 as SCC (9-8) earned a spot opposite Oran in tonight's championship game. Oran defeated Chaffee 65-55 in the other semifinal.
The second-seeded Braves weathered a Scott City storm that included a 33-point effort from Rams senior guard Jesse Sanders, who hit five 3-pointers and added a pair of conventional three-point plays, generally making life difficult for the Braves from the start.
"They came out hot, like we knew they would," said SCC coach Frank Staple. "I just told the kids to keep a level head."
Staple's plan was to limit the Rams' 6-foot-5 senior center Ryan Brock. But when the Braves packed the middle, the Rams began firing from outside.
Leading 25-21 midway through the second period, Scott City hit five consecutive 3-pointers -- three by Sanders and two by Jonathan McFall, who finished with 18 points -- and a 17-4 run enabled the Rams to take a 39-27 halftime lead.
SCC still trailed by 12 at 55-43 late in the third before going on an 8-2 run to end the third. Banks canned a three, and Porter hit a short jumper to make it 55-48. After two Sanders free throws, Banks converted a three-point play to pull the Braves within 57-51.
That was only the beginning. An 8-0 run to start the fourth put the Braves up 59-57 -- their first lead of the game -- and the third-seeded Rams (10-8) never got back in front.
"We had a few mistakes, and [SCC] capitalized on them," Scott City coach Mark Dannenmueller said. "You just can't make mistakes against that team.
"It wasn't for lack of effort, that's for sure."
Scott City forged two ties -- 59-59 and 61-61 -- but couldn't get over the hump.
"We came out with the idea of stopping their big guy," Staple said. "But then they hit five, six threes, and we had to adjust. If we play with energy like that the rest of the way, we'll be in a good situation. This game was good for us."
SCC converted 12 of 13 free throws in the final period, with Banks a perfect 9 for 9.
SCOTT CITY (72) -- Trent Pobst 5, Jesse Sanders 33, Jonathan McFall 18, Ryan Fortner 7, Ryan Brock 7. FG 24 FT 15-25 F 17. (3-pointers: Sanders 5, McFall 4. Fouled out: none.)
SCC (76) -- Chris Brown 2, Larandis Banks 22, Tyler Masters 10, Jaylen Porter 18, Kendall Blissett 2, Jeffrey Porter 12, Cameron Blissett 10. FG 28 FT 16-22 F 17. (3-pointers: Banks 1, Ja. Porter 1, C. Blissett 2. Fouled out: none.)