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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

Bulldogs earn conference win

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

(Photo)
Jackson's Nick Fieler, left, and Brad Eaton guard Sikeston's Lawrence Davis.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs' basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 62-57 win against SEMO Conference foe Jackson on Tuesday night at the Field House.

Jackson has lost nine straight games to the Bulldogs at the Sikeston Field House dating back to 1989, when Jackson head coach Mike Kiehne was a player for the Indians.

The Bulldogs (6-10, 2-2 SEMO Conference) are now 5-3 on their home floor. Sikeston will play at Kelly on Friday at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs will host Portageville for homecoming on Saturday night at 6 p.m.

Tuesday's game was just the second at the Field House since Dec. 20. But the Bulldogs made the most of it.

Sikeston led by as much as 14 points four different times and held a seemingly safe 59-47 lead with 2:45 left in the game.

But the Indians heated up in the closing minutes.

A Jeff Beck 3-pointer with 43 seconds left cut the Bulldogs' lead to 60-55.

Lawrence Davis was able to seal the win with two free throws with 36 seconds left.

"I thought for three and a half quarters we really played well," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "We got up 14 or 15 points and the last three or four minutes we lost our aggressiveness to try to keep from fouling, and they knocked some big 3s down to make it closer. But overall I thought we played pretty well."

Jackson (8-11, 2-3 SEMO) surrounded Bulldog all-stater Lontas McClinton in the paint and contained him to 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

But with the defense focused on him, McClinton was able to find open Bulldogs on the perimeter as he dished out four assists and grabbed nine rebounds.

"He's their man -- if you let him go off and you don't crowd him then he's going to hurt you," said Kiehne of McClinton. "So we wanted to crowd him up as much as possible and don't give him a chance to look. Except for a couple of times when he found open people it worked for us and I thought we did a pretty good job on him."

Including McClinton, the Bulldogs had four players in double figures. Lavar Morgan finished up with 13 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists

Sophomore Marcus McCaster added 11 points while senior Michael Colon had 10 points and seven rebounds.

"You've got to have balance and we had four guys in double figures," said Holifield. "Marcus McCaster and Michael Colon hit some big shots for us down the stretch."

Holifield also had praise for seniors Ben Anderson and Davis.

Anderson finished with five points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Davis had five points, six steals and three assists.

"Ben Anderson did a great job when he was in the game on post defense on (Tyler) McNeely," said Holifield. "I thought Lawrence Davis played his best game of the year even though he didn't score much."

Jackson's McNeely and Tyler Boyd tied for game-high honors with 18 points. But no other Indian reached double figures.

"Sikeston's very athletic and we just don't have that type of player," said Kiehne. "So we've just got to grit and root around and do the best we can and I thought we did that tonight. I thought we played a heck of a lot better than we did last night (a 74-58 loss to Parkway South). We really came out and had a lot of good energy. The kids played really well and we executed plays pretty well."

The Bulldogs built a 13-7 lead in the first quarter but the Indians tied it at 14-14 on a Jack Puisis 3-pointer by the end of the period.

The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and they never trailed after that. The Indians never got closer than four points the rest of the way.

"We tied it at the end of the first quarter, and then all of a sudden I look up and a minute and a half later we're down seven again," said Kiehne. "You can't let things happen like that if you're going to try to beat a team that's more athletic than you. Because they're going to out-run you to balls and they're going to out-rebound you. It's so hard to come back then."

The Bulldogs led by as much as 11 when Nate Thomas stole the ball and scored a layup.

Again, Jackson hit a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter, this time by Boyd, to make it 35-27 at the half.

The Indians were able to cut the lead to four points twice early in the third quarter, but a kick-out by McClinton to Morgan led to a 3-pointer to make it 40-33.

That sparked a quarter-ending 14-4 run to give the Bulldogs a 51-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Indians hit three deep 3-pointers and connected on 5-of-6 free throws to cut into the Bulldogs' lead but it was too little, too late.

"I knew we had to control the tempo which I thought we did, and I knew we had to build up a lead, which we did," said Holifield. "Everything worked out very well except the last few minutes when they knocked some 3s down. Overall it's a good win for us."

The Sikeston junior varsity basketball team had a six-game winning streak snapped with a 44-38 loss to Jackson.

The Bulldogs (9-4, 3-1 SEMO Conference) never led in the game as Jackson led 14-9 after one quarter and 21-15 at the half.

The Indians extended the lead to 34-25 heading into the fourth quarter.

Sikeston was led in scoring by Felante Larry with 10 points. Jackson's Tyler Beussink had a game-high 18 points, including three 3-pointers.