By KEVIN THOMPSON
PLAINS — Scott City's road for a third trip to state in three years got a little clearer Friday, as they dismantled the Southwestern Heights roadblock, 79-50, in the Class 3A sub-state semifinals.
All that's left is tonight's 7:30 p.m. final against the Holcomb Longhorns, and the Beavers will be another step closer to their third-straight 3A title.
After underperforming in Tuesday's quarterfinal win — a game that left the Beavers wondering where the fire was underneath them — Scott City made sure that ugly history didn't repeat itself.
Scott City raced to a 21-7 lead in under six minutes, and kept the pedal down with a 30-point second quarter.
Scott City scored on five 3-point plays in the opening quarter, including two conventional plays by Joey Meyer.
Meyer and Drew Kite scored two more of the and-one variety in the second quarter, in a half that featured a lot of fouling.
The Mustangs fouled 17 times and sent the Beavers to the line for 25 attempts in the first half alone. Scott City missed 10 of those, but they were still up 51-31 at halftime.
Kite attempted 14 free throws in just the second period alone, en route to a 20-point performance.
Meyer finished with 18 and Tyler Hess 12 to pace the Beavers.
Beaver coach Glenn O'Neil was much happier with his team's effort this time around.
Meyer's strong game inside to balance with Kite helped keep the Mustangs out of synch down low, O'Neil said.
"Out of the gate, it was physical," Meyer said. "But it was kind of fun that way. It's been a while since I've had a lot of and-ones in a game."
O'Neil liked Kite's and Meyer's efforts, especially on converting the three-point plays with strength and determination.
"Early in the game it almost looked like they were making our post players earn their points at the free throw line instead of giving them the gimmees. Fortunately they were strong enough to finish some of those," he said.
"Nothing would go in the basket Tuesday, but today this shows that two posts can score 18 and 20," Meyer said. "It's pretty special."
The fire was back, he added, and that will help in the title game.
"It's hard to beat a team three times, but we've had to do it the last two years. I think we can do it, but we're going to have to practice in the morning and get down our plays again," Meyer said.
Against Holcomb, coach O'Neil said, he knows his team will have to have a good effort on both sides of the ball.
Ben Johnsrud led the Mustangs in his final game. The senior poured in 15 points, including nine in the first period to keep his team in the game early.
Scott City's Austin Habiger went down with an ankle injury, and his status for tonight is "iffy," according to O'Neil.
SW Heights 13 18 10 9 -- 50
Scott City 21 30 20 8 -- 79
SW Heights (12-9) — B. Johnsrud 5 4-4 15, N. Johnsrud 1 0-0 3, DeLatorre 3 4-4 10, Lee 3 1-1 8, R. Martinez 3 2-3 7, Jennings 1 0-0 2. Totals 16-44 11-12 50.
Scott City (22-0) — B. O'Neil 3 0-2 7, Wells 1 0-0 2, T. O'Neil 2 0-0 5, Yager 1 1-2 3, B. Meyer 1 0-0 2, Hess 3 5-5 12, Habiger 3 0-0 8, Wilson 0 2-4 2, J. Meyer 7 4-4 18, Kite 5 10-15 20. Totals 27-48 22-32 79.
3-pt. goals — SW Heights 3-16 (B. Johnsrud, N. Johnsrud, Lee), Scott City 5-12 (b. O
Neil, T. O'Neil, Hess, Habiger 2). Rebounds — SW Heights 16 (B. Johnsrud 4), Scott City 37 (Kite 12, J. Meyer 5). Turnovers — SW Heights 20, Scott City 9. Fouled out — SW Heights (Jennings). Total fouls — SW Heights 23, Scott City 16.