By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

SCOTT CITY — Coaches and players respond to different games in different ways and Tuesday night was no different when the Ulysses Tigers came in for an important Mid-State Activities Association games with the Beavers.

Put aside the fact that just a month ago, Ulysses rallied at home from a 10-point halftime deficit to knock off the Beavers by three. Put aside this game meant potential seeding adjustments in the Class 4A sub-state in a few weeks. When these two schools get together, it's a rivalry game.

So when the Beavers walked off the court with a resounding 78-31 triumph over the Tigers, even Ulysses coach Jason Jones was scratching his head trying to figure out what had just happened.

"(Scott City) threw that first punch, especially on defense, and we didn't respond," Jones said. "It's the first time all season this group hasn't responded and we'll find out how they respond on Friday."

In layman's terminology, this was an old-fashioned backside thrashing that began midway through the first quarter after the score was 9-8, Ulysses (11-5, 3-2), with four minutes to go. That was the last time it was a contest. When the buzzer went off to end the opening quarter, the Beavers were on top 19-9. It only got worse from there for the Tigers.

With Scott City's defense and offense clicking, the lead grew to 25-10, 36-17 and finally settled at 36-19 at halftime. A 16-0 burst to start the third quarter had the Tigers offense at bay. It was 56-24 after three quarters. The final score was the largest margin of the night.

"My teammates wanted me to say that we were embarrassed about the way we played in that last game (in Ulysses)," junior guard Ron Baker said who finished with a 26-point, eight rebound performance. "We came out here with a bit of payback. But it's still a stepping stone to where we want to be. We just want to get better each game and I think we have made progress in the last couple of weeks."

Scott City coach Glenn O'Neil said he rarely, if ever, talks about revenge games and Tuesday match was no exception.

"We talked more about not letting 10-point leads disappear more than anything else," O'Neil said. "We were playing terribly in the first part of the season and now we're focusing on the game plan and making shots and doing the little things to help us win."

It was Baker, though, that drew high praise from his coach.

"Ron's got long hands and he's blessed with talent, but he also works extremely hard on his game and it's paying off," O'Neil said. "He just sets the tone for a lot of what we do and everybody feeds off that. More people are getting involved and that's making our inside game better as well."

Baker received scoring support from senior Jorden Funk and freshman Brett O'Neil with 10 points apiece. Josh Jarnagin was the lone double figure scorer for the Tigers with 11. In addition to winning the rebounding battle 42-32, the Beavers turned the ball over just 11 times, three in the first half.

Scott City will be at home Friday night against Pratt in another key MSAA contest. Ulysses will be at home against Thomas More Prep-Marian.

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Scott City 78, Ulysses 31

ULYSSES (11-5, 3-2) — Zerr 1-7 0-0 2, Malone 1-3 0-0 2, Moral 3-11 0-0 9, Gustafson 0-1 0-0 0, Jarnagin 4-8 3-5 11, Sullivan 0-2 4-4 4, B. Langston 0-3 0-0 0, Perez 0-3 0-1 0, T. Langston 1-2 0-0 3, Kissel 0-2 0-0 0, Porras 0-1 0-0 0, Oliver 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 10-46 7-12 31.

SCOTT CITY (11-4, 3-2) — O'Neil 3-9 2-2 10, Turner 1-2 2-2 4, Roemer 1-1 0-0 3, Swan 2-8 2-2 6, Strube 2-6 0-0 4, Baker 8-15 8-9 26, Robinson 1-1 0-0 3, C. Davis 0-1 0-0 0. Hess 2-3 0-1 4, A. Davis 2-5 4-4 8, Funk 3-6 4-4 10, Clinton 0-1 0-0 0, Kite 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-58 22-24 78.

Ulysses 9 10 5 7 -- 31

Scott City 19 17 20 22 -- 78

3-point goals — Ulysses 4-15 (Zerr 0-2, Malone 0-1, Moral 3-5, Gustafson 0-1, Jarnagin 0-2, B. Langston 0-2, Perez 0-1, T. Langston 1-1), Scott City 6-13 (O'Neil 2-5, Roemer 1-1, Swan 0-1, Baker 2-5, Robinson 1-1). Rebounds — Ulysses 32 (Zerr 5), Scott City 42 (Baker 8, A. Davis 8). Turnovers — Ulysses 24, Scott City 11. Fouls — Ulysses 16, Scott City 15. Fouled out — None. Technical Fouls — Ulysses bench.