Trevon Scott was on the minds of the Bluffton High School basketball players before tip Saturday and probably remained there after the game ended.
Bobcats coach Brett Macy knew the 6-foot-6 McIntosh County (Ga.) junior presented a matchup nightmare and would show why he is a Division I recruit. Macy wanted to try to deny the big man the post and use backside help, leaving Scott's 3-point shooting ability to chance.
But Macy thought Scott's mystique forced the Bobcats into timid play on offense. The Buccaneers raced out to an early lead and ran off with a 55-36 victory in the final of the Bobcat Classic tournament at Bluffton High School.
Scott finished with 26 points, with 22 in the first two quarters. He drilled two 3-pointers as part of McIntosh County's early 12-0 run, and Bluffton could not recover, despite a more aggressive second half.
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Lesson learned in time for region play.
"We just have to be sure we've learned that lesson of we can't be timid, we can't be intimidated and we can't play scared -- especially offensively -- because we think a team is good," Macy said. "We have to be aggressive and attack the rim and attack the offensive glass like we did in the second half, and then it's a more competitive game, easily."
Bluffton finished runner-up in its tournament, the highlight a double-overtime victory over Ridgeland-Hardeeville on Friday night. The Bobcats had hoped for a second title in three years, but McIntosh County showed it was much-improved since Bluffton defeated the Buccaneers in this tournament last year.
Scott was more active, Macy said. And he thought the Bucs did a better job defending in transition.
Post player Phillip Petek was a wild card for the Buccaneers, working to gain position inside and convert. He finished with 18 points.
Scott provided the flash when the Bobcats failed to rotate defensive help.
He was held to only four points during the second half, but one of those baskets was a two-handed dunk after a head fake at the free throw line freed him for takeoff down the lane.
"We just came out here and played ball, man," Petek said. "That's what we do."
Bluffton picked up a couple of technical fouls during the second half as the team headed for its second loss of the season. The Bobcats were able to salvage some moments to take forward, Macy said -- physical play in the second half and court time for younger players.
"We move on," Macy said. "If we learn from it, we can get better from it. But that's our job to get better for it."
McIntosh County -- Trevon Scott 26, Phillip Petek 18, Darius Stevens 3, Wesley Grant 4, John Littles 2, Brandon Moran 2
Bluffton (7-2) -- D.J. Dobson 13, Jae Middleton 8, B.J. Hill 6, LaQuan Washington 4, Adriel Willis 4, Lorenzo Taylor 1
Saturday's Boys results
Championship: McIntosh County (Ga.) 55, Bluffton 36
Third-place game: Ridgeland-Hardeeville 70, Groves (Ga.) 49
Fifth-place game: North Florida 61, New Hampstead (Ga.) 54
Seventh-place game: Purcell (Ohio) 51, New Hampstead 40