By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
MOOREVILLE – Kelsey Scott more than made up for a tough shooting night from fellow Mooreville guards Austin Timms and Kelton Kingsley against Saltillo on Friday night.
Scott connected on two clutch third quarter 3-pointers and finished with 31 points to help the Troopers pull away to a 72-55 victory over their county rival in the Mooreville Tournament.
“It may not be me one night, it may not be Austin, but we’ve got good shooters,” said Scott. “Stuff don’t fall all the time, but you have to keep your head in the game and play hard.”
A long-range 3-pointer by Scott halfway through the third followed baskets by AJ Hunt and Brody Whitehead that gave Saltillo (11-4) its first lead since the opening quarter.
The Tigers briefly regained the lead on a Jeread Sadler layup, but a Kingsley basket with 2:44 remaining in the period put Mooreville (15-2) ahead for good.
Scott then added five quick points before the quarter ended to push the Troopers to a 52-46 advantage. Saltillo never fully regrouped after forcing eight lead changes and six ties in the game.
“We’ve had equal balance throughout the run that we’ve had, but tonight in the second half we started playing a little selfish basketball,” said Saltillo coach Craig Lauderdale.
TIMMS STANDS TALL
While Timms struggled with his jump shot, he took advantage of his height in the post and scored 12 points in the paint.
Brandon Moore added 10 while Kingsley finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Hunt scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half, including two 3-pointers in the final 1:20 of the second quarter to tie the game 31-31.
Mooreville, though, took a 34-31 lead to the locker room thanks to a buzzer-beater by Scott.
The two teams meet again Thursday in the opening round of the Lee County Tournament at Nettleton.
(G) MOOREVILLE 58, SALTILLO 55: Savannah Webb’s 17 points led four Mooreville (8-8) double-digit scorers. Brhea Mitchell’s 27 were a game-high for Saltillo (6-9).