HUNTSVILLE — It took two overtimes, but Scott High ultimately prevailed over a one-loss South Doyle team here Tuesday (Dec. 7), defeating the Cherokees 78-75.
The Highlanders were able to get back on track, four days after a disappointing loss at Halls to open district play, by utilizing the free throw line and leaning on its senior guards, Trey Morrow and Luke West.
Morrow scored 38 points and West added 19, as the Highlanders found a way to out-last the Cherokees in a marathon game that was reminiscent of Scott High’s triple-overtime game at Kingston in last season’s region semifinal.
South Doyle was effective for a while at neutralizing Morrow. The senior Mr. Basketball candidate had only eight first half points, well below his season average.
But by the end of the night, the Cherokees were out of weapons. Three different South Doyle players fouled out of the game, all of them starters.
Ayden Rauton fouled out with 28 points, and Quentin Carr fouled out with 25 points. The foul disparity had South Doyle coach Ryan Ross fuming. As a team, South Doyle shot 13 free throws. Scott High had more than twice that many, finishing with 29 attempts. Morrow had 18 by himself.
But much of the disparity at the line and in the foul count could be chalked up to South Doyle’s strategy of playing aggressive defense. It wasn’t unlike the strategy that Halls successfully employed four days earlier; the difference was that on the Highlanders’ home floor, the referees whistled a tighter game that enabled Scott to make hay at the free throw line.
Fourteen of Morrow’s 38 points came at the line.
The Highlanders began to get on track in the third quarter, scoring 21 points to nearly equal their entire first half output. As a result, they battled back to take a seven-point lead and appeared to be on the verge of completely taking over the game. Morrow scored seven, West had a pair of 3-pointers and Grey Todd had four points.
But South Doyle was hardly finished. The Cherokees scored just enough to keep the game close heading into the fourth quarter, where Rauton took over. He scored 13 of his 28 in the fourth, which was just enough to allow the Cherokees to get the game to overtime.
Scott scored first in OT, on a West 3-pointer, but Carr had the answers for South Doyle, scoring six of his 25 to help force a second overtime.
The Highlanders finally took the lead for good in the second OT, with Morrow scoring all eight of Scott High’s points in the four-minute period. Morrow and West were the only SHS players to score after the end of regulation.
SCOTT (78): Morrow 38, West 19, Todd 7, Jeffers 5, Strunk 5, Prewitt 4.
SOUTH DOYLE (75): Rauton 28, Carr 25, Newton 7, Webster 5, Gary 4, Williams 4, Brang 2.