Dexter blisters Fredericktown; Kennett advances
SIKESTON - The Class 3A, District 1 boys basketball tournament got under way on Tuesday at the Sikeston Field House.
All three scheduled games went according to seed with No. 2 Dexter rolling past No. 7 Fredericktown 80-38; No. 3 Sikeston slipping by No. 6 Perryville 57-48 in overtime; and No. 4 Kennett beating No. 5 Doniphan 57-56.
Kennett will play top-seeded New Madrid County Central on Thursday at 6 p.m. followed by Sikeston and Dexter, who will square off at 7:30.
Perryville's Andrew Meyr hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to tie the game at 44-44 and send it into overtime.
The Bulldogs grabbed a quick 49-44 lead in the overtime and held on to advance to the semifinals.
"I knew it was going to be a tough game," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "(Perryville) shoots the basketball extremely well. I knew they were going to play zone and stand in against us. We struggle occasionally shooting the ball from the perimeter. I'm just proud that we were able to rally back and beat them."
Sikeston (14-11) had trouble with the Pirates' tight zone, which was geared towards containing the Bulldogs' Lontas McClinton.
The Pirates surrounded McClinton with two and three players at times.
"We did all we could," said Perryville head coach Jeff Steffens. "We came out and executed our gameplan. We were trying to make other people besides Lontas and Justin Freeman beat us. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves. We battled back, fought hard and sent it into overtime. That's all you can ask."
McClinton only had five points at halftime as the Pirates held an 18-17 lead.
But the 6-3 junior ended up with a team-high 19 points, scoring 12 in the fourth quarter and overtime periods. He also had five steals.
"Lontas is an excellent ball-player and an excellent athlete and he hits the boards hard so we had to know where he was at all times," said Steffens. "We did a good job on him for most of the game."
Junior guard Lavar Morgan, after being held scoreless on Friday against Kennett, scored 17 points with seven rebounds and four assists.
"They both really played well," said Holifield. "We've got to have offensive production out of both of them and Freeman for us to be a good basketball team."
Freeman finished up with nine points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.
Perryville raced out to a 12-5 lead to start the game before Morgan finished the quarter with seven straight points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to knot the score at 12-12.
In the third quarter, Sikeston built a 24-20 advantage but the Pirates went on a 9-0 run to lead 29-24 with under two minutes remaining in the period.
Sikeston finished the quarter strong with a McClinton slam dunk and another Morgan 3-pointer at the buzzer to retake lead 32-31.
The Bulldogs' pressure defense paid off during the run.
"We knew coming in that they would be a very quick team," said Steffens. "That's one thing that we have trouble with is taking care of pressure."
Sikeston opened up a five-point lead at two different points in the fourth quarter but they couldn't hit free throws down the stretch.
Sikeston was just 4-of-10 in the fourth quarter from the line, including two missed front ends of one-and-one shots.
But in the overtime period Sikeston hit 7-of-11 free throws to help ice the game.
"We feel good about ourselves that we were able to take them to overtime because they're a good team," said Steffens. "We were the No. 6 seed and nobody really gave us a chance."
The Pirates (12-14) ended the season with 10 straight losses.
Perryville was led by 6-foot-6, 250-pound center Chad Ozark, who scored a game-high 20 points.
"He played very physical inside," said Steffens. "He did a good job tonight. At times he took it straight to the rack and was unstoppable. Other times he shied away from contact and shot fade-aways. I don't think he knows how good he could be if he could put it together for a whole game."
No other Perryville player reached double figures.
Sikeston's Lawrence Davis added eight points with four rebounds and six assists.
Sikeston only had five turnovers but had trouble scoring for most of the night.
"We were really standing and we have a tendency to do that against a zone," said Holifield. "We don't get a lot of movement like we should. I thought in the second half we did a much better job. Hopefully we can bounce back Thursday night and play with some intensity against Dexter and put ourselves in a position to compete."
The Dons rallied from a 27-13 first quarter deficit and had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Dale Anderson missed an inside basket as time expired.
Kennett (17-9) led throughout, holding a 37-30 edge at halftime and a 46-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Doniphan (11-14) was led by Anderson's 18 points and Danny Kellas with 17 points.
Kennett was led by Dustin Pritchett with 18 and Julius Taylor with 12.
The second-seeded Bearcats had no trouble disposing of Fredericktown in the nightcap.
Dexter (23-3) led 22-8 after one quarter and 47-14 at the half.
The Bearcats drained 10 3-pointers on the night, including five by senior Chad Gill, who finished with a game-high 24 points.
Chris Hyten added 13 points for the Bearcats.
Fredericktown (2-21) was led by Jared Quinton's eight points.