The Scott City Beavers showed they were able to handle the speed game of the Derby Panthers in their opening round showdown of the 70th Tournament of Champions.
The Beavers took control of the game midway through the second quarter and never let go after that in a 58-45 victory over the Panthers to advance to the tournament.
Scott City was the runner-ups two years ago and they showed quickly that their ranking then wasn't a fluke.
"It's personal for me," said senior Brett O'Neil. "We lost that tough game two years ago and people have said they don't have any respect for us because we're 3A. We just want to show teams that we're good."
The Beavers were 23-of-46 from the field in the game as they showed that any of their weapons on the floor could be dangerous.
Brett O'Neil led the Beavers (8-0) with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Drew Kite adding 17 poitns and eight boards and Tyler Hess scoring 13 points and also grabbing eight rebounds in the win.
"I had a lot of sleepness nights thinking about this game and a couple of other teams in the tournament," said Scott City head coach Glenn O'Neil. "We play the big schools anyway. We played Denver South, which would be a 5A or 6A school in Kansas, and we have Liberal and Great Bend on our schedule.
"We're thinking of this tournament as a way to get some quality games and try to find some weaknesses we can work on."
The first quarter saw the team trade the lead seven times and tie five times with Scott City leading 14-13 by the end of the stanza. Kite scored eight of the Beavers' points in the period.
The second quarter saw the teams continue to trade the lead until the Beavers started to pull away late and closed the period with a 10-2 run to build a 31-21 lead by intermission. The Panthers made only two field goals in the stanza.
"We weren't scared, but we were amazed how long and quick they were," Brett O'Neil said. "Once we figured out what they were doing, we adjusted and took the game from them."
Kite and O'Neil scored 10 points apiece for the Beavers (8-0), while Hess hit all four of his shots and scored nine before halftime.
Scott City scored the first seven points of the second half and later increased their lead to 44-26 as they were able to continue to hound the Panthers on both ends of the floor. Derby rallied and cut the led down to nine before the Beavers clawed the lead back up to double digits late in the game.
Scott City will play Wichita North in one TOC semifinal game at 7 p.m. tonight; while Derby will face Buhler in a consolation contest at 2 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - SCOTT CITY (58) -- Brett O'Neil 6-11 6-11 19, Brenner Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Trey O'Neil 0-4 0-00, Tyler Hess 5-7 3-3 13, Austin Habiger 1-4 0-0 3, Anthony Wilson 0-1 0-0 0, Joey Meyer 3-4 0-2 6, Drew Kite 8-14 1-3 17. Totals 23 10-19 58.
DERBY (45) -- Paul Theis 1-4 1-2 3, Ben Rogers 0-4 2-2 2, Jeremy Dunham 6-13 0-2 12, James Conley 3-5 0-0 6, Dylan Hunter 1-8 0-0 3, Shane Swink 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Schieber 3-10 5-8 11, Zach Osborn 0-4 0-0 0, Tyler Chambers 0-4 0-0 0, Josiah Ray 4-9 0-1 8. Totals 18-61 8-15 45.
Scott City 14 17 15 12 -- 58
Derby 13 8 11 13 -- 45
Three-point baskets -- Scott City 2 (B. O'Neil 1, Habiger 1), Derby 1 (Hunter 1). Records -- Scott City 8-0, Derby 8-3.