POTOSI — Junior guard Drew Skaggs scored a game-high 17 points, and the Central boys basketball team dodged a potential first-round upset on Monday night by defeating Potosi 63-56 at the Class 4, District 2 tournament.
Tony Jones chipped in 15 points and Zach Forster tallied 11 points with 13 rebounds for the Rebels (14-12), who advanced to face top-seeded De Soto in tonight’s semifinal round.
Central never trailed after back-to-back field goals from Skaggs capped an opening 11-0 run, but struggled mightily to withstand a hungry Potosi squad that played without two key starters.
Senior Jeremy Malugen paced four Trojans in double figures with 13 points. Freshman Austin Cooley added 12 and Aaron Vinson scored 11, while Dallas Seim compiled 10 points with 11 rebounds.
Potosi (3-22) trailed 45-34 when Rebels guard Will Scherffius drained a 3-pointer in the third quarter, but eventually had three late possessions with a chance to pull even while committing just seven total turnovers.
Aaron Vinson and Malugen hit 3-pointers early in the fourth, and the Trojans made their closest approach at 49-48 when Seim split two free throws with less than five minutes to play.
Jones answered for Central with a short baseline shot, and Forster buried a quick jumper inside to make it 53-49 after the teams traded missed layups and sloppy turnovers under duress.
Skaggs converted four straight free throws to restore a 10-point lead, and time ran out on the Trojans, who had collected recent wins over Washington County rivals Valley and Kingston after starting the season 0-20.
Cooley scored in the lane as Potosi efficiently battled back to within 22-19. Baskets from Forster and Skaggs capped a 7-0 response as the Rebels rode into halftime with a 33-23 advantage.
Central finished 11-of-16 from the line compared to 8-of-17 for Potosi.
Potosi 11 12 16 17 – 56
Central 17 16 12 18 – 63
Potosi – Jeremy Malugen 13, Austin Cooley 12, Aaron Vinson 11, Dallas Seim 10, Luke Jacobsen 7, Eric McCoy 3. 3-point FG – Malugen 3, Jacobsen 2, Vinson. (FT: 8-17)
Central – Drew Skaggs 17, Tony Jones 15, Zach Forster 11, Will Scherffius 9, Jon Comfort 5, Aaron Littlefield 4, Derek Mitchell 2. 3-point FG – Scherffius 2. (FT: 11-16)