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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Bulldogs run past Doniphan

Sunday, January 19, 2003

(Photo)
Sikeston's Lance Davis drives around Doniphan's Nic Gordan.
SIKESTON - The Doniphan Dons entered Friday's SEMO Conference matchup with Sikeston wanting to run and gun.

The Sikeston Bulldogs were happy to oblige.

Going with a different offensive philosophy, the Bulldogs beat the Dons at their own game, posting a 79-61 win at the Field House.

The Bulldogs (5-7, 1-2 SEMO Conference), traditionally a slow, deliberate team the last few years, decided to pick up the tempo and the strategy worked as the team scored a season-high 79 points, while not hitting a single 3-point shot.

"I thought our energy level was as good as it's been all year," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "I could see us passing it, catching it and shooting it much better. We spent a lot of time on that the last couple of weeks."

Not only that, but the Bulldogs kept the normally 3-point-minded Dons scoreless from beyond the arc.

"We were really trying to take the 3-point shots away which I think we successfully did," said Holifield. "But they were beating us off penetration and our help-side was slow getting there, but we'll work on getting better at that."

The Bulldogs still dominated the game in every aspect. They only trailed in the early moments of the game and they opened up a sizable lead in the first quarter and never relinquished it.

"I thought we came out with good energy," said Holifield. "We were hitting the open man and we got on the boards very well in the first few minutes of the game and kind of set the tempo. Overall I thought our energy and quickness was much better than it has been in the last couple of games."

The Bulldogs roared out to a 12-3 lead capped by an alley-oop slam by Lontas McClinton with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter, forcing Doniphan head coach Shawn Gibbs to burn a timeout.

Despite the sub-.500 record, Gibbs was leery of the Bulldogs even before tip-off.

"I knew coming into the game that their record was very deceiving because they have a very talented club," he said. "I saw them play against Poplar Bluff in the Sikeston Tournament and they were taking it to Poplar Bluff. So I told the kids that if they've got the talent to do that, then we better be ready to go."

But once Doniphan got down, they never could get over the hump.

Although the Dons (5-7, 0-3 SEMO Conference) kept things interesting throughout, they never got closer than three after the Bulldogs' initial run.

Sikeston led 20-14 after one quarter of play.

The Dons closed to 22-19, but the Bulldogs quickly responded. McClinton capped a 5-1 run with another two-handed jam to lead 27-20 with 5:11 remaining in the half, forcing another Doniphan timeout.

The Bulldogs went on to maintain a 36-29 lead at the half.

The Dons were able to get the lead down to three on three difference occasions in the third quarter, but an 8-0 run capped by a nice spinning layup by Lawrence Davis made it 48-37 with 3:46 left in the quarter.

Doniphan never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs led 56-48 entering the fourth quarter.

They put the game away by out-scoring the Dons 23-13 in the final frame.

Doniphan was led by senior guard Danny Kellas with 23 points. Senior guard Shayne Talburt added 17 points.

"Our biggest thing is we've got to start shooting the ball better," said Gibbs. "We normally do a better job of rebounding, but we're going to have trouble with a team like that in keeping them off the boards. Especially when they got after the boards like they did tonight."

Doing most of the damage was Lavar Morgan, McClinton and Michael Colon.

The three seniors combined for 34 rebounds to out-rebound the Dons by themselves.

Morgan finished with a season-high 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end.

McClinton scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half on 10-of-12 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds.

Colon pumped in a season-high 12 points with 10 rebounds and three steals.

"Both Morgan and McClinton got quite a bit of their points on offensive rebounds," said Gibbs. "McClinton hurt us some in the halfcourt set but for the most part we needed to do a better job of boxing those guys out. Every point they got they deserved."

It was the second time in three games that Morgan, a converted forward, and McClinton, both recorded double-doubles.

"They really played well and they play well together, especially when they're inside," said Holifield of his two leading scorers. "They look for each other, they're very unselfish in there and that's the kind of production we've got to have out of both of them to be a good basketball team."

The Bulldogs also got solid production out of senior Lawrence Davis with eight points and seven assists. Junior guard Nate Thomas played his best game of the year, scoring five points with three assists and a steal.

"It's a big win for us, especially with it being at home," said Holifield. "You've got to take care of your home-court and we haven't been at home in a month. This is nice for us to come out and get a win here at the Field House."

The Sikeston junior varsity team won its sixth straight game with an 82-48 win against the Doniphan JV.

It was the Bulldog jayvee team's most impressive performance of the year, posting a season-high in points by 18.

The JV Bulldogs (9-3, 3-0 SEMO Conference) led 15-14 after one quarter and 32-27 at the half. The team exploded in the third and fourth quarters, out-scoring Doniphan 50-21.

Johnny Bland and Felante Larry each scored 15 points for Sikeston. Matt Limbaugh added 11 points and Brandon Williams added 10 points.

Doniphan had no player reach double figures.

Matt Kepley, Matt Rodgers and Brandon Burns each had eight points to lead Doniphan.