Last night the 3A District 1 boys basketball tournament opened with two nail-biters and one blowout. Both Sikeston and Kennett avoided upsets, then Dexter unmercifully shredded Fredericktown.
The second round takes place on Thursday.
For reasons unknown, Kennett is no match for New Madrid County Central. Every time these two teams hook up, it turns into a lopsided blowout.
Do the Eagles get up for the Indians, or does Kennett just shut it down every time? Either way, there's no doubt who will win this district semifinal.
Final score: NMCC 75, Kennett 60
Sikeston is one of the area's best defensive teams, but their offense has been way behind. Dexter is just the opposite -- their only defense is a high-powered offense.
The Bulldogs have home-court advantage but it won't matter. Dexter will beat Sikeston, then give NMCC a run for its money in the finals.
Final score: Dexter 68, Sikeston 50
Sherome Cole is out for the year with a broken wrist. That's like taking Michael Jordan off the Washington Wizards.
Sorry Rebel fans, but this season is over. On Thursday Richland plays host to Twin Rivers, possibly the most underrated 2A teams in the state. Even if they had Cole, Richland would struggle to keep the final score respectable.
Final score: Twin Rivers 85, Richland 65
The Scott-Mississippi Conference title is on the line Thursday when Kelly travels to Oran.
The Hawks have won four straight and are flying high with the return of Michael Romas. Can they upset the Eagles?
Don't bet the farm on it. Kelly won't be able to score 50 points on Oran's pressure defense.
Final score: Oran 60, Kelly 48
In another Thursday game, East Prairie hosts red-hot Bell City. The Cubs were a dangerous team when Eric Henry and C.J. Hadley were taking all the shots.
But now Dominitrix Johnson has given them a third scoring threat. With the way they've been playing since Christmas, Bell City deserves the top seed they recently received in 1A District 2.
East Prairie won't be able to stay with them past the first quarter.
Final score: Bell City 85, East Prairie 50
In February, Charleston has followed up every win with a loss. Last night's victory over Hayti means the Bluejays are due for a letdown Friday at Caruthersville.
The Tigers are definitely capable of beating streaky Charleston if Chris Springer and Bryant Rodgers are hitting their shots, but don't look for that to happen.
The 'Jays are overdue for an impressive win.
Final score: Charleston 75, Caruthersville 63
You never know what you're going to get out of Delta. Last night the Bobcats were in the can't-miss zone, hitting 57 percent of their shots from the field. If they play like that again Friday, they could beat Scott Central, but they won't.
Look for Chris Pullen to lead the Braves to their 14th victory.
Final score: Scott Central 73, Delta 65
In Friday's Class 4A District 1 championship game, Poplar Bluff takes on Farmington, who upset Jackson in overtime last night.
The Knights might have a shot if this game were played anywhere else, but the Mules are extra-tough at Bluff.
Final score: Poplar Bluff 76, Farmington 63