BROSELEY - The Sikeston girls basketball team advanced to the second round of the Twin Rivers Christmas Classic on Saturday with a 58-46 win over 13th-seeded East Carter County.
Sikeston, seeded fourth, will play No. 5 Kelly on Tuesday morning at 11:30.
Against East Carter, Sikeston overcame a strong opening quarter by the Lady Redbirds to pull out the win.
"They had a good gameplan and they were prepared for us," said Sikeston head coach Lee Brooks. "They knew what we were going to do and they were ready for the press. They came out and ran a lot of girls at us. We're in a good shape as far as conditioning. But we knew we were going to have a struggle. I've got three kids that are out with the flu that I brought up from the junior varsity and that really shortened out depth."
Sikeston played without starter Robyn Morris for most of the game as well as she battled flu-like symptoms.
Sikeston led 35-30 at the half and extended the lead to 48-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Allison Blurton led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points. Senior forward Mia Welch added 14 points.
But Brooks was most impressed with the rebounding of Ebony Collins.
I've never seen her play this good," said Brooks. "She pulled down some big rebounds when we needed them. She's only 5-7 and she played like a 6-footer. Her rebounding kept us in the game. She really stepped up. She was the big story in the game."
East Carter was led by Megan Carner's 17 points.
Sikeston will now set its sights on Kelly, a team it already defeated 57-53 back in the Chaffee tournament earlier this season.
East Carter 20 10 10 06 -- 46
Sikeston 16 19 13 10 -- 58
EAST CARTER (46) -- Brianna Reynolds 8, Emily Bonman 2, Michelle Roark 8, Anna Thompson 11, Megan Carner 17. FG 20, FT 5-9, F 22. (3-pointers: Reynolds 1. Fouled out: Carner).
SIKESTON (58) -- Paige Silverthorn 8, Nyketia Johnson 7, Ebony Collins 3, Allison Blurton 16, Mia Welch 14, Whitney McCray 8, Jessica Jackson 2. FG 20, FT 11-23, F 12. (3-pointers: Blurton 2. Fouled out: none).