Every year, the Sikeston-Charleston rivalry brings out the best in both teams.
The last eight games between the two schools have been decided by seven points or less. Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, Charleston's best has been just a little bit better that Sikeston's best recently.
The Bluejays have won the last six meetings by a total of just 22 points. In that span, Charleston has pulled out two one-point victories, a three-pointer, a four-pointer, a six-pointer, then most recently, a seven-pointer.
Charleston is considered to be one of the area's top teams at this point, while Sikeston has struggled somewhat after a strong start. All signs point to an easy Bluejay victory, but forget about it. Like always, Sikeston will make things interesting.
Final score: Charleston 60, Sikeston 58
In the biggest mismatch of the week, red-hot Bell City travels to Richland. In last night's 110-40 blowout win over Chaffee, the Cubs scored 42 points in the second quarter. Winless Richland is averaging 37 points a game. The state record for points scored in regulation is 174, set by Dixon in 1968. If that record is ever going to be broken, this is the game.
Final score: Bell City 105, Richland 35
Portageville will follow up Thursday's game against North Pemiscot with Scott Central on Friday. Judging by their recent performance at Bloomfield, the Bulldogs seem to be improving with each game. The jury is still out on Scott Central, but a win here would put the Braves on the map.
Final score: Portageville 80, Scott Central 68
The Bearcats have to love being in the Stoddard County Conference. Those 20-win seasons come a little easier with games like this sprinkled in here and there.
Final score: Dexter 95, Woodland 60
This is a game East Prairie can win. Meridian has some athleticism, but the Eagles can overcome it if Matt Boyer hits his shots and those blasted Southern Illinois officials let the players decide who wins.
Boyer will do his part, but the officials probably won't.
Final score: Meridian 61, East Prairie 55
Notre Dame is 7-4 with quality wins over Sikeston and Bell City. The Bulldogs have also played Dexter and Charleston tough. Kelly is 4-6, losing their last three. Notre Dame should win this one with ease.
Final score: Notre Dame 70, Kelly 58
Chaffee got Bell City last night, and will take on Scott City this Friday. It's a tough week to be a Red Devil.
Final score: Scott City 70, Chaffee 42
On a neutral court, Poplar Bluff would probably beat Jackson by 20 points. But in the pit, all bets are off.
Final score: Poplar Bluff 65, Jackson 60