A dominant third quarter from Tolton junior Jevon Porter helped the Trailblazers get a 57-46 win over Southern Boone in the Class 4 District 8 semifinals Tuesday.
Tolton’s game started off well offensively with a well-balanced attack throughout the first half. Tolton’s defense locked down the interior, but the Eagles found a way to stay competitive by sinking 3s.
The play of the game came with 5:58 to go in the second quarter. Jevon Porter received a brilliant pass from senior guard Nathaniel Krebs, went up high and slammed down hard over an Eagles defender. Porter was fouled in the process and the dunk got the Tolton crowd buzzing.
“It wasn’t something I was looking to do, but Nathaniel hit me with a great pass,” Porter said.
At halftime, Tolton led 25-19. The Trailblazers’ offense struggled to hold onto the ball in the second outside of Porter’s monster dunk, but Southern Boone struggled to finish its fast breaks. The Eagles could force the turnover, but their layups failed to fall at the other end on multiple occasions.
The third quarter became a battle between Porter and Southern Boone’s sharpshooters. Tolton’s Pepperdine commit put up 15 points in the period. For much of the quarter, Southern Boone stayed on Tolton’s heels, but it couldn’t find an answer for Porter on the inside. Porter scored all but three of Tolton’s third-quarter points, with Krebs hitting the last shot of the quarter to put the Blazers up nine.
Tolton held on without much of an issue in the fourth. Porter led the way with 29 points, followed by 13 from Krebs.
With Tuesday’s win, Tolton moves on to the district final against Fulton. The Blazers impressed Tuesday, but there are still areas to improve before Thursday’s matchup.
“We need to take care of the ball better and limit our turnovers,” Tolton coach Jeremy Osborne said. “Turnovers killed us tonight.”
Tolton was able to get away with its turnovers due to hustle plays in transition and misses on Southern Boone’s part, but Osborne hopes that those mistakes won’t be present against Fulton. Osborne pointed out that Tolton’s offense wasn’t nearly at the peak efficiency that it showed earlier in the season. Fulton put up 80 points in its victory over Boonville on Tuesday, so Tolton will need its offense at its best to take down the Hornets.
Tolton will face Fulton on Thursday. The time and location of the game have not been announced.