IRONTON — Turnovers off defensive pressure and second-chance scoring led the Central boys basketball team to a successful season debut at the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament on Monday night.
Senior forward Drew Skaggs used a sizzling first half to compile 30 points and nine rebounds overall as the second-seeded Rebels hammered Ellington 100-48 in the opening round.
Central forced 25 turnovers while committing just eight. Austin Caldwell scored 14 points and Riley Calvird added 11 to highlight a deep bench.
The Rebels reached triple digits on Gabe Craig’s basket in the paint with 1:30 to play, and will face Clearwater in Wednesday’s semifinal round.
Dylan Pogue connected four times from beyond the arc, and netted 21 points to pace Ellington.
The Whippets stayed within 30-23 on a jumper from sophomore Korey Harper, but began to slump after their leading rebounder was assessed his fourth personal foul midway through the second quarter.
Skaggs caught a long baseline pass from Hunter Courtois near the foul line, then made a nifty spin move past a defender to easily finish. He posted 25 points by the intermission before playing sparingly in the second half.
Alaric Jones followed with another steal and layup to create a 51-30 margin as Central closed the half on a 7-0 run.
Rebels sophomore Brayden Manion tallied nine points and made three of his five steals over the first 90 seconds of the third quarter.
Calvird drained a pair of corner threes later in the stanza, and Central carried a healthy 79-43 advantage into the fourth.
Skaggs recorded four of his first-half field goals after the Rebels grabbed an offensive rebound. His consecutive steals set up transition layups for Courtois and Manion, making the score 28-16 after one quarter.
Hunter Hathcoat matched Harper with eight points for Ellington, which will face Arcadia Valley tonight in the consolation bracket.
Ellington 16 14 13 5 – 48
Central 28 23 28 21 – 100
Ellington – Dylan Pogue 21, Hunter Hathcoat 8, Korey Harper 8, Wyatt George 5, Carl Potts 2, Billy Parkhill 2, Bryton Brown 2. 3-point FG – Pogue 4. (FT: 2-7)
Central – Drew Skaggs 30, Austin Caldwell 14, Riley Calvird 11, Brayden Manion 9, Hunter Courtois 8, Reid Lucas 7, Alaric Jones 7, Jon Comfort 4, Blake Nephew 4, Will Scherffius 4, Gabe Craig 2. 3-point FG – Calvird 3, Skaggs. (FT: 16-25)