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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Sikeston loses battle of Bulldogs

Monday, January 31, 2005

(Photo)
Portageville's Jimmy Larry tries to drive past Sikeston's Matt Limbaugh.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team lost another tough, close game when they fell to state-ranked Portageville on Saturday, 58-49 at the Field House.

Sikeston started the game on fire, taking an 11-0 lead, but the Bulldogs couldn't sustain the momentum.

The Bulldogs (7-10) led by as much as 15-2 in the first quarter but Portageville closed the period strong to cut the lead to 17-12.

"We dug a hole and I was thinking we shouldn't have come up here tonight," said Portageville coach Jim Bidewell. "I knew Sikeston had some athletes and to be honest I didn't think we'd come away with a win with the way we'd been practicing. And then we started out the game the way we'd been practicing."

Sikeston still led 22-12 after Matt Limbaugh nailed a 3-pointer from the corner, but once again Portageville (15-3) closed the quarter strong, finishing on a 12-3 run to cut the lead to 25-24 by halftime.

Portageville eventually took its first lead of the game at the 6:10 mark of the third quarter on a conventional 3-point play by Marcus Boyd to lead 29-28.

The teams exchanged leads the rest of the quarter until Portageville's Willie Hassell scored to give his team a 40-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Sikeston stayed close early in the quarter, trailing just 45-44 with six minutes left, but the Bulldogs ran out of gas.

Portageville finished the game on a 13-5 run.

The Bulldogs didn't even score in the final two minutes as they missed numerous point-blank layups.

"Them playing last night probably hurt them in the end," said Bidewell. "Boy they missed some shots that weren't because of our defense. They missed some shots that they'd normally hit."

Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield agreed that his team might have fatigued after having a very physical game the previous night against Kelly.

"I hate to make excuses but we had a tough game last night and our legs left us a little in the fourth quarter," said Holifield. "But to win tournaments you've got to play back-to-back games and we've got to learn to do that. We struggled putting the ball in the hole late and we missed several easy layups -- just point-blank shots. I guess due to fatigue more than anything else."

Sikeston got a career-high 16 points with nine rebounds and three steals from Joel Nabors. He was 7-of-10 from the field and scored 10 of his points in the first quarter.

Matt Limbaugh added a season-high 11 points off the bench to go with his four steals.

But the Bulldogs' top three scorers, Kash Bratcher, Julian Beard and Rod Moore were held to a combined 18 points.

Bratcher had six assists but turned the ball over eight times.

"We were trying to stop him and keep him from hitting 3-pointers," said Bidewell. "For the most part I thought we did a good job, but he didn't have the legs that he probably had last night."

The Bulldogs had 22 turnovers in all.

"I really think Portageville is a good team and we competed well at times but came a little short," said Holifield. "I still am very optimistic of what we can accomplish as the season rolls on. Our goal and objective is to be district champs. Our kids have remained positive and we're going to try to get better. We had a tough week but I thought we competed well with three outstanding teams."

Sikeston held all-state guard Hassell to 10 points but Antonio Scott (18 points) and Jimmy Larry (11 points) picked up the slack.

"We really tried to contain him and stop his penetration," said Holifield of Hassell. "I've seen him play and know how good he is. I thought we did a pretty good job on him."

Sikeston will travel to Poplar Bluff on Friday at 6 p.m.

Portageville got the top seed in the Bootheel Conference Tournament in Kennett. The Bulldogs will play the winner of the Kennett-Malden game on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The Sikeston JV team improved to 5-9 on the season with a 50-38 win against Portageville.

Sikeston trailed 16-12 after one quarter and 24-21 at the half.

But the JV Bulldogs took control of the game in the third quarter, leading 34-30 heading into the fourth quarter.

Sikeston got a season-high 21 points from Cortne Beasley. He also had four steals and four 3-pointers.

Blake Taylor followed up with 10 points and five assists.

Tarryl Booker scored just three points but had a season-high 16 rebounds. Andrew Sales had five rebounds and four assists.

Portageville was led by Abraham's 10 points. Jacob Estes added nine points.