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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Sikeston holds off Notre Dame

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sikeston's Rod Moore looks to score.
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs improved to 4-3 on the season with a 71-64 home victory against SEMO Conference foe Notre Dame on Friday.

Sikeston led by as much as 22-8 in the first quarter but Notre Dame (2-5) never went away as they trailed by as little as two points in the third quarter, but never could take the lead.

The game puts Sikeston over .500 for the first time heading into Christmas break since the 1999-2000 season.

"It's always good to win, especially when you win at home," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished so far in the first seven games. We're 4-3 and we've beaten some good people."

The Bulldogs led from start to finish as they raced out to an 8-2 lead to start the game.

Sikeston's Tyler Woodson dribbles around Notre Dame's Frankie Ellis.
After building a 22-8 lead, Notre Dame cut the score to 24-16 head into the second quarter.

Sikeston again built the lead back up to 14 early in the second quarter but once again Notre Dame was up to the challenge as they were able to go on a 9-0 run.

"We played well in the first five or six minutes of the game and then we lost our intensity," said Holifield.

"They started beating us off the dribble and our defense started breaking down."

Sikeston managed to hold a 39-35 lead heading into halftime.

Notre Dame got as close as 41-39 with 5:28 left in the third quarter, but Sikeston junior point guard Kash Bratcher nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back up to eight.

Bratcher hit a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the third to give the Bulldogs a 52-43 lead.

Sikeston held a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame still kept things interesting down the stretch, getting as close as five points with less than two minutes remaining.

"We didn't handle the situation very well in the second and third quarters," said Holifield. "But they battled and kept working and we were able to build a 10-12 point lead in the fourth quarter."

Bratcher finished with a season-high 20 points, including five 3-pointers. He also had five assists. Junior forward Rod Moore scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half.

"If Kash gets his looks he's got a chance of shooting the basketball well," said Holifield. "He had some open looks tonight and he knocked down some big shots for us. Rod played well, especially in the first quarter and he got a couple big ones late for us."

Senior forward Drew Cole had 10 points. Sophomore Julian Beard had nine points and nine rebounds.

Sikeston still has stretches where they will turn the ball over. The Bulldogs had 18 turnovers in the game.

"We got careless and lost our concentration," said Holifield. "Sometimes that happens when you get a big lead. We started collapsing and breaking down some and you can't do that. You've got to keep plugging and stay aggressive and get the job done."

Notre Dame was led by Jeremy Brinkmeyer's 20 points followed up by Kirk Boeller's 11 points.

The game was sloppy as the two teams combined for 44 fouls and 55 free throws.

Neither team shot free throws well, but Sikeston had a slight edge, hitting 15-of-27 compared to 14-of-28 for Notre Dame.

"Sikeston got off to a really good start -- we're like that every game," said first year Notre Dame coach Paul Hale. "We keep battling back. I can't fault our effort. We've just got to find some way to make a basket every once in a while. We've got good kids, but we struggle putting the ball in the basket. We missed a lot of free throws."

Bratcher had 15 of his 20 points in the second half. Hale said they discussed keeping Bratcher from getting hot, but didn't anticipate the range he possessed.

"The Bratcher kid really shot it well," said Hale.

"We talked about him but I didn't think he'd shoot it 10 feet behind the 3-point line. He's more effective out there than he is at the free throw line. I give Sikeston and Gregg credit -- he's done a good job with them and they play hard. We do too. I'm not going to fault our effort."

Sikeston will be off until Jan. 4 when they host Caruthersville at 6 p.m. Notre Dame will play in the seMissourian Christmas Tournament in which they got the No. 8 seed. They will play ninth-seeded Scott County Central in the first round.

Sikeston's junior varsity team fell to 1-6 on the season with a 52-45 loss in overtime to Notre Dame.

Sikeston led 18-8 after one quarter and still led by double figures in the fourth quarter but couldn't hold on.

Blake Taylor led the Bulldogs with 13 points followed up by Joe Moore's 10 points. Andrew Sales had seven points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Xavier Delph led Notre Dame with 18 points.