A career night from Dante Scroggins helped Smith-Cotton beat Clinton 90-67 on Tuesday.
The Tiger senior had a career-high 38 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
Scroggins said what was working for him offensively was “getting to the free throw line and that was just opening my outside shot, just getting the easy buckets.”
Scroggins hit 9 of 12 from the field and 14 of 17 from the free throw line.
“He was aggressive,” said S-C coach Brennan Scanlon. “That’s what we need him to do every night. If he doesn’t have 20, 25, 30 a night, we’re not going to win.”
Scroggins scored 10 of his points during a short stretch at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, getting a putback and a dunk to put S-C up 18-17 after one, then adding two free throws and a layup on the first two possessions of the second quarter.
“He has stretches where he gets hot and he’ll have also stretches where he’s non-existent,” Scanlon said. “Our job is to try to get him in the attack mode all the time and we want him in the attack mode all the time.”
Chance Johnson and Gavin Jones each had 14 points. Keoni Hale scored 10.
On the defensive end, Jones had three steals, took a charge and grabbed a rebound off a missed free throw, drawing a foul in the process.
“We were just trying our best to get the best defense we could,” he said. “We’ve still got to step it up quite a bit.”
Overall, Scanlon felt the Tigers’ defense could have been better on a night when they allowed 67 points.
“A good thing, we got the win (Tuesday) but our defense has to get better if we’re going to meet the goals we have for the season,” Scanlon said.
S-C ended the second quarter with a 12-2 run, turning what had been a two-point lead into a 10-point edge at the break. Jones opened the run with a steal and a layup with 2:21 left. Scroggins followed with a 3-pointer and Kendall Weymuth added a basket in the paint.
Smith-Cotton put together another run to open the third. After Johnson hit a free throw, Scroggins added a putback and 3-point play. A Hale layup and a Scroggins basket inside made it 54-38.
“I told my team ‘let’s fight,’” Scroggins said. “They have nothing to lose. We just need to come out and play hard.”
Smith-Cotton (6-1, 1-1 WCC) will face Willard on Saturday in the W-K Shootout.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles