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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

NMCC defeats Osceola in SIT

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

New Madrid County Central coach Scott Kruse shows fancy footwork to avoid a collision with NMCC guard Malcolm Long.
SIKESTON - The 33rd Annual Sikeston Invitational Tournament got underway on Monday with two games at the Sikeston Field House.

In the opener, New Madrid County Central picked up its first win of the season with a 64-45 win against Osceola, Ark.

In the nightcap, Charleston's varsity had no problem with the Sikeston junior varsity, winning 74-25.

In the first game, Osceola raced out to an early lead by causing turnovers with a full-court press.

But NMCC (1-2) was able to take the lead at the end of the first quarter, 15-13.

The Eagles never trailed again as they steadily pulled away the rest of the game.

"We didn't play a good game in the first half at all," said NMCC coach Scott Kruse. "We played so hard in the Riverbend and that surprised me. But we came out in the second half and got stops. We moved our feet, had our knees bent and tried to win a ballgame. We were working too hard in practice to come out here in front of people and look like we're not working hard."

NMCC led 25-20 at the half and extended the lead to 46-30 heading into the fourth quarter.

"It's early in the season and we don't have a ton of experience on the floor and I was waiting to see us put a team away," said Kruse. "We've got a long, long way to go and we've got a lot of work to do."

The Eagles were able to get hot from the perimeter in the second half, canning six 3-pointers.

Osceola, despite numerous attempts, didn't connect on any from beyond the arc.

"I think as the season goes on we'll keep shooting it better," said Kruse. "We're coming off football and they're going to shoot it better and better as we go along. I still think our strengths have got to be defense and rebounding. But they know when they're open and it's a good shot, they can shoot it."

The Eagles saw four different players reach double figures with Eugene Cooper and Latterance Newsom leading the way with 14 points each.

Malcolm Long added 12 points and Joseph Howell had 10.

Osceola was led by 6-foot-6 junior Lonnie Dabney with 18 points.

NMCC will play Sikeston's varsity tonight at 7:30 p.m. Osceola won't play again until Thursday when they take on the Sikeston varsity at 7:30 p.m.

Charleston 74, Sikeston JV 25

In the second game, Sikeston's junior varsity played the Bluejays pretty tough as they trailed 10-6 with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

But it quickly went downhill from there as Charleston scored 31 points in the second quarter to lead 45-13 at the half. The clock ran the entire second half as the Bluejays continued to pull away until the final horn.

"Going into a game like this you just try to get better and work on things like blocking out, getting good shots on offense and stopping their dribble penetration," said Sikeston junior varsity coach Brian James. "It's not a game you realistically think you can win going in. But you just try to get the most you can out of it."

Charleston (2-3) had four players scored in double figures led by 6-4 1/2 sophomore Jamarcus Williams' 16 points. Chris Cassell had 14 points, Moses Gater had 12 points and Justin Clark had 10 points.

All-state forward Ashton Farmer sat out the game while nursing an ankle injury. He is expected to play on Thursday when the Bluejays take on Blytheville at 6 p.m.

"We wanted to get some guys in that don't normally get some playing time," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer. "What we're trying to do is sort things out so when our season really gets started we'll be ready for it. We did some things well, but we've got some guys that play like sophomores sometimes and then sometimes they play big." Sikeston was led by Blake Taylor's six points. He also had three assists.

Cortne Beasley had five points and three steals. James Bonner came off the bench to lead the team with five rebounds.

"For the first quarter I thought we came out and were fired up to play, but once they put some pressure on us we kind of wilted a little," said James. "Our kids aren't too down about it. They're realistic and they know what they were up against tonight. It's a team that's played hard all year and I expect them to continue to play hard."

The JV Bulldogs turned the ball over 30 times and they were just 9-of-30 (30 percent) from the field.

"I thought that was a scrappy group of kids that played hard," said Farmer. "I was telling my kids at halftime they played hard. They may be young and not as skilled but they give a great effort. That's what we're trying to get, we want some of these kids that are laid back to play that way. They were a scrappy group."

Sikeston's junior varsity (1-5) will play Blytheville tonight at 6 p.m.