A huge first half helped Scotland County get by La Plata 69-66 in the opening round of the North Shelby Tournament and bounce the Bulldogs into the consolation side of the bracket. A balanced scoring attack helped the Tigers advance to the semifinals, holding off a late La Plata run.
The two teams traded the lead much of the first period. Zach Doubet came off the bench to spark SCR-I with six straight points midway through the quarter. Cordie Kigar beat the buzzer with a fast break score to put Scotland County ahead 16-15 after eight minutes of play.
La Plata pulled ahead early in the second period before a pair of field goals each from Brice Cowell and Caleb Doubet helped the Tigers pull back ahead 26-25.
The score was knotted at 30-30 when Aaron Buford canned a three-pointer. Kigar and Cowell both followed with three-pointers before a layup by Cowell pushed the lead to double digits at 41-31.
Jacob Blessing had five points in the third period, including a key three-pointer to stop a La Plata run and help SCR-I stay on top 58-51 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers made things interesting with team-wide struggles at the free throw line down the stretch. Scotland County missed seven of 10 fourth quarter free throws to leave the door open for La Plata. The Bulldogs made things interesting, but Scotland County was able to hold on for the 69-66 win.
Johnston led Scotland County (7-3) with 13 points. Blessing had 12 points while Kigar finished with 11 points and Zach Doubet had 10.
The win sent SCR-I on to the semifinals to take on top seeded Marion County.