March 9, 2006

SCR-I Gives Top Seed Canton Scare In District Semifinals

The Canton Tigers, the fourth-ranked team in Missouri Class 2 basketball, are playing this week in the state playoffs. Midway through their semifinalís game on March 2 at Queen City, that may not have been the picture most fans were seeing as the #4 seed Scotland County squad was giving top-seeded Canton all it could handle in the District 5 semifinals.

On paper it looked like a mismatch, the #1 seed vs. the #4 - but apparently the SCR-I Tigers didnít care about that.

Both squads started the game sluggishly on offense, which appeared to be a combination of nerves and some impressively strong defensive efforts on both ends.

Chris Humes made one-of-two free throws to start the scoring. But after Bryce Blomme scored on a layup to make the score 3-2, neither squad could get anything to fall for the next five-plus minutes. The score remained 3-2 until Canton finally got a three pointer to fall with just over two minutes left in the opening frame. Matt Wickert immediately tied the game at 5-5 with a jumper from the wing. Canton then closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to lead 10-5.

Blomme converted on another fast break to start the second period but Canton still led 14-7 before Cody Musgrove scored in the paint. SCR-I went on an 8-3 run behind buckets from Lathan Watson and Bryce and Grant Blomme to pull within 17-15 and force a Canton time-out at the 3:01 mark.

Bryce Blomme kept the Tigers within striking distance, hitting two more buckets as the first half wound down with SCR-I trailing 21-20.

The upset bid started to slip away in the third quarter. After Musgrove scored inside to make it 24-22, Canton went on a 7-0 run. Watson ended the streak with a jumper at the 3:37 mark but Canton led 31-24.

Musgrove followed that up with a three-point play with 2:05 remaining in the second period.

That proved to be Scotland Countyís last gasp, as Canton closed the third quarter with another 7-0 run to lead 40-27.

Wickert converted a layup and Bryce Blommeís three pointer cut the deficit to 42-32 with 6:09 to play. However that was as close as SCR-I would get. Canton closed out the Tigersí season with a 16-1 run to finalize the 58-33 defeat.

Bryce Blomme scored 13 points to lead the Tigers who finished the season with a 7-18 record. Musgrove added 10 points.

Canton was led in scoring by Jared Schaller with 23 points, including five three pointers. SCR-I held Adam Potts to 12 points and Jordan Ayers to seven.

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