The basketball dynasty in Morley, Mo.

Monday, March 24, 2014

In Missouri, millions of sports fans are enthralled by the success of the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans hold up the number "11" as a matter of pride -- the number of World Series won, the most by any team in the National League. Around the nation, the college basketball championship has gripped fans everywhere. Fans are in awe of UCLA's 11 titles and Kentucky's eight.

Scott County Central's basketball program calls that small potatoes. The Braves recently won their 17th state basketball championship, the most of any school in Missouri.

The tradition of great basketball acumen goes back decades. This year, it was a 69-39 domination of Meadville in the title game.

Senior Juwan Owens had a fantastic day, scoring 27 points, including hitting five 3-pointers. That was twice as many points as the next-closest scorer.

Larandis Banks, the senior point guard, has been regarded as the team's best player. He showed grit this year, coming off a heart condition that delayed his ability to get into game shape until midseason. Banks scored 11 in the title game.

Scott County Central, without question, boasts one of the most storied sports programs in the state. The Braves are known all over for their basketball excellence. While the tiny Scott County school always seems to produce talent, it should be noted the primary reason these boys excel is because they work so hard and care so deeply about playing basketball. We hope the passion and work ethic carries on well past the basketball court and after graduation.

Congratulations, Braves, for continuing the dynasty built in Morley.

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