After a sluggish start, the Smith-Cotton Tigers found their groove on the glass Friday night in a 52-39 home win over St. Pius X.
With an 18-14 lead at the half, S-C started the third quarter working the ball and inside and grabbing offensive rebounds for more scoring chances. In the process, they also put the Warriors in foul trouble. Senior Dante Scroggins scored six points and junior Tanner Powell had seven in the quarter. Powell scored on an offensive rebound and drained a three-pointer on S-C’s next possession to give the Tigers a 26-18 advantage with 5:08 to play in the quarter.
“Tanner Powell played great for us,” said S-C Head Coach Brennan Scanlon. “He got some good offensive rebounds and played great defense.”
The Tigers nearly matched their first-half output, scoring 17 points in the third quarter on the way to a 35-23 lead heading into the final quarter.
With three minutes left in the game, the Warriors’ Kyle Taylor and Joe Witherow hit back-to-back buckets to cut S-C’s advantage to 42-35. But the Tigers responded with a fast-break layup by Kendall Weymuth and a deep three-pointer by Scroggins to regain the 12-point lead with 1:45 to play.
Scanlon praised Scroggins, who led all scorers with 19 points and 13 rebounds, for his “good senior leadership.” He also liked the Tigers’ offensive movement.
“I thought we passed the ball really well,” Scanlon said. “When we share the ball, we’re pretty good.”
For the game, S-C (15-8) outrebounded St. Pius, 35-21. Weymuth had seven points and eight rebounds, Powell finished with 13 points and junior Gavin Jones had eight points and five assists. Witherow led the Warriors with 12 points, and Lucas Salinas had 11.
The Tigers play Nevada at home on Tuesday on Senior Night for both the boys and girls programs.
S-C JV BEATS WARRIORS
In the JV game, Jaden Kendrick made an over-the-shoulder layup with 1:27 to play to push S-C to a 34-29 lead, as the Tigers posted a 39-30 win over St.Pius X. The game was tied at 17-17 at the half and remained tight through the third quarter before S-C’s inside game became too much for the Warriors. The Tigers were led by Derek Gehlken with 15 points; Corbin Scott added 10 and Kendrick finished with eight.