METROPOLIS, Ill. -- The Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team dropped their opening game of the 21st Annual Superman Classic on Monday in Metropolis.
Host school Massac County was too much for the undersized Bulldogs, winning 71-45.
Sikeston (3-8) will play Notre Dame (56-44 losers to Paducah Tilghman) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Massac (14-3), starting a frontline of 6'8", 6'6" and 6'5", dominated the game from the start.
The Patriots raced out to a 9-0 lead and never trailed.
"They have many weapons -- this is as good a team as we've played all year," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "They have great size, you don't realize how big they are until you get out there. Plus their guards can play." Sikeston cut the score to 13-10 at one point in the first quarter, but the Patriots went on an 11-3 run to close out the opening frame.
The Bulldogs played their best defense of the game in the second quarter, but they couldn't do any damage offensively as they still trailed 34-20 at the half.
"When we were playing hard and aggressive and getting after it, we competed well," said Holifield. "We had a spurt there where we got into the game. We were getting good shots and knocking them down, but then their athleticism took over. Their strength and size hurt us quite a bit."
The Bulldogs topped their season-high for the third straight game by making nine 3-pointers out of 21 attempts.
Freshman Joe Lincoln led the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points, all on four 3-pointers. He also had four assists.
Junior Marcus McCaster had three 3-pointers to account for his nine points and four assists.
Sophomore guard Kash Bratcher had eight points, including a pair of treys.
"We give away so many inches inside with our post game, so we really have to try to look for the perimeter shot," said Holifield. "We don't have a lot of size, so that's basically why we're shooting so many perimeter shots. Plus, we have guys that can shoot the basketball."
The Bulldogs' hot shooting kept them in the game through much of the third quarter.
But a back-breaking 3-pointer by Josh Burnham, in which he banked it in from the corner at the buzzer, gave the Patriots a 55-39 lead heading into the final frame.
The fluky shot seemed to deflate the Bulldogs.
Massac went on to out-score Sikeston 16-6 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Matt Jacobs led the Patriots with 21 points. Six-foot-8 center Gerren Rogers added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Dominique Petty, a 6-6 lefty, had 10 points and nine assists. Aaron Bowman added 11 points.
Bulldog sophomore Trey Spence chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.