When a shot goes up, Imhotep sophomore Donta Scott has only one thing on his mind.
"Get that ball," Scott said, "no matter what!"
The tenacity with which the 6-foot-7 forward hit the glass Tuesday night against Public League rival Del-Val helped propel the host Panthers to a 74-47 victory.
Scott finished with eight points but also grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots in front of a large and lively home crowd.
The type of aggression his performance required, however, hasn't always been a norm. Mistakes, Scott said, would cause his head to dip and his energy to drop.
"The key to rebounding for me is to just keep picking myself up," he said. "I can't keep my head down. If I make a mistake I just have to get back for the next play."
Tuesday night provided plenty of rebounding opportunities.
Dave Beatty (6 of 12 from the field) led Imhotep with 21 points, while Daron Russell (5 of 16) added 18. The Panthers (3-1), however, shot 4 of 19 from behind the three-point line.
Del-Val (2-3) was led by 19 points from Mahki Morris and 11 points from Antwuan Butler. But the Warriors shot just 3 of 14 from three and 10 of 29 from the foul line.
In stark contrast, Imhotep finished 18 of 20 at the foul line.
After a competitive first half in which Del-Val got to within two points, Imhotep led, 28-23, at halftime.
A 7-2 spurt to start the third quarter provided the Panthers a measure of separation, but a 12-3 burst to start the fourth put the game out of reach.
Koby Thomas came off the bench and finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and a flurry of fourth-quarter dunks that dazzled the home crowd.
For his part, Scott blocked two shots in the final frame and helped hold the Warriors to just eight fourth-quarter points.
In addition to rebounding and blocking shots, Scott has also shown the versatility to score off the dribble and shoot well from three.
Not bad for the youngster who started playing basketball around age 9 because his mother, Sandra Campbell, wanted him to get some exercise.
"My mom really wanted me to go out and do sports because I was a little chubby," he said. "I had to get out there and work. My mom really put me where I am today because she pushed me to better myself."
Del-Val 8 15 16 8 - 47
Imhotep 14 14 20 26 - 74
DV: Antwuan Butler 11, Mahki Morris 19, Amin Dandridge 2, Tyrone Williams 3, Dion Harris 8, Nazir Thomas 2, Mikel Sullivan 2.
IM: Sammy Wylie 2, Elijah Taylor 2, Dave Beatty 21, Daron Russell 18, Reef Knox 8, Donta Scott 8, Amear Johnson 2, Fatayn Wesley 2, Jamil Riggins 2, Koby Thomas 9.