This time, there would be no fourth quarter comeback. This time, there was no need for one.
That Scott High defeated Powell wasn’t necessarily surprising. That the Highlanders did it as easily as they did was fairly shocking.
Scott won its second straight South Fork Physical Therapy Christmas Classic championship with a 72-51 win over the Panthers on Wednesday (Dec. 22). It was a game that the Highlanders dominated in the second half, but the signs that something was different this time around was evident in the first half, even when Powell was leading.
Wednesday’s game was Scott’s third of the season against Powell. The two teams split the first two, but both required the Highlanders to claw back from a massive second half hole. In a Thanksgiving weekend game at home, Scott overcame a 9-point fourth quarter deficit to win. In a more recent game at Powell, the Highlanders scratched back from a 17-point deficit before eventually losing.
But on Wednesday, Scott never trailed by more than five points, and didn’t trail at all in the second half.
Trey Morrow had a relatively quiet first half. Although he had nine points, he did not score a field goal in the second quarter. Luke West had eight first half points, but it also felt like that he wasn’t overwhelming Powell.
Nevertheless, Scott led 34-32 at halftime, thanks in part to four points each in the second quarter by Dalton Prewitt and Grey Todd.
The third quarter was when Scott High took over. With a raucous student section and aggressive defense appearing to frustrate Powell, the Highlanders surged to a double-digit lead. And, this time, the Panthers were certainly overwhelmed by Morrow and West.
The seniors combined for all 20 of Scott’s points in the third quarter, and the Highlanders led 54-42 as the fourth quarter began.
Powell didn’t get any closer in the fourth quarter. Todd took over, scoring eight of his 12 in the final period. In fact, the Panthers appeared to throw in the towel with still nearly four minutes remaining, when Ayden Green exited the game after a technical foul on Dearius Kinnebrew, who was held to just a single point.
While Scott scored 72 points — the Highlanders’ highest output since scoring 73 against Anderson County on Dec. 10, and the most they’ve scored away from Highlander Gymnasium since putting up 77 against Campbell County in Maynardville on Nov. 26 — Wednesday’s win was more about their defense. In fact, the entire tournament was largely about Scott’s defense. The guard combo of Prewitt and Scott Jeffers aren’t putting up eye-popping numbers on offense, but they — along with Todd at the post position — are creating enough scrappiness on defense to throw opposing teams off their mark. It happened to Woodberry-Forest on Monday, and on Wednesday Scott High held Powell’s Green to just nine points.
The Highlanders will return to action in Maryville on Tuesday, where they will face Fulton. Depending on how Tuesday’s games play out, the Highlanders could see Powell again on Wednesday. The Panthers play Hampton on Tuesday.
SCOTT (72): Morrow 25, West 18, Todd 12, Prewitt 4, Woodward 4, Jeffers 3, Brumett 2, Babb 2, Bodwell 2.
POWELL (51): Heard 12, Walls 12, Walker 9, Green 9, Jardret 6, Brewer 2, Kinnebrew 1.