(Photo by David Jenkins)
The Lady Bulldogs competed for two quarters, but were outscored 38-10 in the second half of the lopsided defeat. Notre Dame forced 25 turnovers in the win and has now gone 9-1 since the Christmas break.
"We're pleased that the girls kept their composure," said Notre Dame head coach Jerry Grim. "This was a rough game out here tonight. We've played big teams and we're used to banging around, so it was no big deal."
Sikeston opened the game with a lob pass into Joy Daniel for an easy two points. It turned out to be Sikeston's only lead of the game.
From that point on, Notre Dame's defense shut down Sikeston's inside game. Daniel finished with three points, Kerri Jones was held to three and Mia Welch scored just five.
"The lob pass usually works for us," said Sikeston head coach Lee Brooks. "But like I told the girls at halftime, I wished I had never seen that pass. Quality teams like (Notre Dame) will only let you throw it once or twice before they cover it."
Notre Dame standout Ashley Millham ended the first quarter with a conventional 3-point play to make it 12-8. Sikeston's Paige Silverthorn buried a 3-pointer at the start of the second frame, but Millham answered with two 3-pointers of her own, followed by a putback.
Millham led all scorers with 32 points on the night. "She's their bread and butter," said Brooks. "She's one of the top players in the state as far as I'm concerned."
Millham came into the game averaging just under 20 points per game.
"She scores a lot of points, but we've got a pretty unselfish team," said Grim. "It doesn't matter who has the ball. If there is an open player, they're going to hit them."
Notre Dame opened the second half with a 13-1 run, opening the floodgates. They outscored Sikeston 19-3 in the third quarter and 19-7 in the fourth to pull to the 38-point victory. The Lady Bulldogs played starters Paige Silverthorn and Stephanie Clark sparingly in the second half due to injuries.
Both are expected to be back in the lineup for tonight's game against New Madrid County Central.
"I thought I got some good, quality minutes out of my freshmen bench," said Brooks. "I wanted to give them a chance to play against top-level players."