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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

Powerful Madison beats Sikeston in Superman

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

(Photo)
Lavar Morgan (4) scored 13 points in Sikeston's 59-49 loss to Madison in the Superman Classic on Tuesday
(File photo)
METROPOLIS, Ill. -- The Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team dropped to 0-2 in the 20th Annual Coca-Cola Superman Classic on Tuesday with a 59-49 loss to powerful Madison, Ill., at Massac County High School.

The Bulldogs (5-9) will play their last game in the tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m. against an undetermined opponent.

The Bulldogs gave Madison, the No. 3-ranked team in Illinois Class A, all they wanted.

The Trojans (15-2) boasted a front-line of 6-3, 6-6 and a 6-9, 235-pound center. Plus three players off the bench listed at 6-9, 6-5, and 6-3.

The Bulldogs have seen several teams with taller players, but Madison's were the biggest yet.

"I feel like they're the most athletic team we've seen, with their overall strength and size," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "Plus they all shoot the basketball well, I was impressed with that aspect of it. They have the total package, great size, quickness, they handle the ball and they shoot it very well. Playing very talented teams like this can only make us better for the end of the year."

The Bulldogs were up to the challenge.

Although the Trojans came out of the gates on fire, taking a 23-13 lead after one quarter, the Bulldogs steadily chipped away at the lead by doing what they do best, pounding the ball inside to Lontas McClinton.

The 6-3 senior forward checked in with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds.

"You've got to give credit to (Sikeston)," said Madison head coach Al Collins. "They played well and they came out to win. They didn't come out to lose. No. 44 (McClinton) was killing us -- offensive boards, defensive boards, driving to the hoop -- we couldn't stop him."

Sikeston was able to cut the lead to 33-26 by halftime behind the 3-point shooting of Marcus McCaster and Lavar Morgan.

"They were really a tough team to deal with when No. 3 (McCaster) and No. 4 (Morgan) came out shooting treys," said Collins. "We were very fortunate to win this game. Very fortunate."

The Bulldogs had a strong start in the third quarter, going on a 10-2 run to take a 36-35 lead on a Morgan 3-pointer with 4:55 left in the period.

"We had a really good stretch there -- it's probably as well as we've played all year," said Holifield. "We got into a rhythm offensively and we were shooting the basketball well, plus our intensity on defense was good."

Morgan's 3-pointer marked the Bulldogs' last lead of the game as the Trojans went on an 8-0 run to lead 43-36.

Madison extended the lead to 48-38 entering the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs were climbing uphill the rest of the way and never got closer than eight points in the fourth quarter.

"Their athleticism took over," said Holifield. "They are very big, strong and quick. We had some turnovers in the second half where we got a little sloppy with the basketball."

Other than Madison's two losses, the 10-point margin is by far the Trojans' closest contest of the year -- the team wins by an average score of 76-to-47.

But Collins wasn't surprised the Bulldogs competed with his team.

"I knew they were a better team than their record, because I've been looking on the Internet at the games they lost," said Collins. "They were all close games and the teams they lost to I know are good. I knew they would be a tough team because they were strong and they could rebound."

The Bulldogs stayed on the boards with the Trojans with each team grabbing 31 apiece.

Morgan finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

He also hit three 3-pointers on the night, which ties a season-high.

The Bulldogs hit 5-of-12 from downtown as a team, which also marks a season-high for made 3-pointers.

Madison was led by Travonti Walker's 15 points. Rickey Salmond and Maurice Hughes added 10 points each.

"Everybody just did a good job and I was proud of our effort," said Holifield. "It's just they're a really good team that we played tonight. We just need to put it together for a complete game. When we get back home where we play in our conference and play familiar people. I think that will help us."

In other tournament action, Massac County defeated Paducah Tilghman 70-47.