(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
The Colts, one of the top ranked teams among St. Louis' large schools, withstood a late Bulldog rally in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
It's the first time the Bulldogs have played Parkway Central since the 1997-98 season.
The Bulldogs are now 3-4 in the series with the Colts, which first started in 1993.
With several top seniors returning, long-time Parkway Central head coach Rick Kirby thought this would be a good time to renew the series with Sikeston.
The Bulldogs (9-12) gave the Colts all they wanted, but the fundamentally sound St. Louis team took care of the basketball and made their free throws down the stretch.
"I was very impressed with them," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "They're well-coached, they're fundamentally sound and they hit the open shots. I thought at times we played well but I thought our energy level was a little lacking compared to our effort Friday night. But they're an outstanding team, they're as fundamentally sound as any team we've played all season."
Sikeston got ahead early as they led 6-3 and 9-7 in the first quarter.
The Colts (21-3) then went on a 7-0 run to lead 14-9 before the Bulldogs were able to tie it on a Nate Thomas 3-pointer heading into the second quarter.
Sikeston took an 18-15 lead at the 6:50 mark of the second quarter but the Colts responded with another 7-0 run to take the lead for good.
Parkway Central ended up leading 31-27 at the half.
The third quarter belonged to the Colts.
A Lontas McClinton steal and slam dunk closed the gap to 35-33 with 5:38 left in the quarter, but the Colts went on an 8-0 run to lead 43-33.
The Colts led 49-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sikeston rallied late, cutting the lead to 56-50 with three minutes remaining. And the Bulldogs had a chance to cut it two four points but a missed layup proved costly.
Parkway Central ended the game on an 8-2 run with the final score marking the team's biggest lead of the game.
"We had an opportunity there with a couple of minutes to go to cut it to a four-point lead but we missed a layup," said Holifield. "If that goes down then it could've been a different situation. This is really a good game for us at this point in the season. We want to play as good a people as we can play and they're one of the top teams in the state. They have a legitimate chance of advancing if they can get past DeSmet in their district."
Kirby has seen some of Sikeston's best teams and players in the past, and McClinton's 26-point, 11-rebound performance left him impressed.
"(Sikeston) may not be as solid at every position like some of the teams we had played here in the past," said Kirby. "It's been a few years since we've been here. But I'll tell you what, I think the McClinton kid may be the best they've had, there was one other but I can't remember his name. But that McClinton kid is a hell of a basketball player. He really is."
The 6-foot-3 all-stater certainly pulled out the entire arsenal as he was consistently draining 15-footers and he also made a 3-pointer, just his fifth of the season.
"We were going to try to double down on McClinton, but it just seemed like it didn't work out for us other than about five possessions," said Kirby. "He's a load. We wanted to dive down on the non-shooters on the wing and see if we could disrupt him a little bit. He's awful tough to guard because he's got pretty good range. I thought he looked comfortable from 15 feet and plus he's an animal down underneath the bucket. He's a nice player."
Lavar Morgan was Sikeston's only other double figure scorer as he tallied 10 points with four rebounds.
Parkway Central was led by Kevin Nobles with 18 points. Austin Kirby, the coach's son, scored 13 points and Jarrett Brooks added 10 points.
The Sikeston jayvee team fell to 11-7 on the season with a 53-39 loss to Parkway Central.
The Bulldogs led 12-10 after one quarter and were tied 25-25 at the half.
But the Colts controlled the second half, out-scoring the Bulldogs 28-14.
Sikeston was led by Brandon Williams' nine points. Kash Bratcher and Apollo Patterson followed up with eight points.
Andrew Collier and Robby Gross led the Colts with 14 and 13 points respectively.