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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Indians wear down Bulldogs

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

(Photo)
Sikeston's Joel Nabors pulls down a rebound in front of Jackson's Ryan Mirly (top) and Aaron Redacker (left).
SIKESTON - The Jackson Indians proved to be too big and too deep for the Sikeston Bulldogs on Tuesday night as they posted a 71-62 SEMO Conference win at the Field House.

The state-ranked Indians, boasting an enormous front line of 6-foot-10 Aaron Redecker and 6-8 Ryan Mirly, eventually wore down the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter.

Sikeston managed to keep it interesting as they trailed 55-54 on a baseline shot by Kash Bratcher with 5:30 left in the game.

But Jackson's Cody Cardwell buried a momentum swinging 3-pointer from the left corner to extend the lead on the ensuing trip down the floor.

Sikeston (7-8, 1-4 SEMO Conference) never challenged the rest of the way as the Indians iced the game from the free throw line, going 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

The Indians were 21-of-29 in the game from the line.

"The one key I thought was we had our bench give us some good minutes in the second quarter and that gave us some fresher legs in the second half," said first year Jackson coach Darrin Scott. "We made our free throws and we picked up our defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and got some turnovers and contested shots."

Sikeston got another strong performance from Bratcher, who had a team-high 18 points with six assists. He made 4-of-7 from 3-point range despite Scott's best efforts to contain him.

But Bratcher's shot to make it a one-point game with 5:30 left was the last basket he scored.

"We needed some stops and that's about the time we switched and put Jack (Puisis) on Kash," said Scott. "With his size he did a little better job of getting out and contesting his 3s. Kash had 18 with four 3s and we didn't want him to get any open 3s, but he still got four. He still got open and knocked down some shots on us."

Puisis was also a weapon on offense with a game-high 23 points.

"He's really a nice player," said Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield. "If he has an open look he's an outstanding shooter. You can tell he's spent a lot of time working on that. They've got many good players though, their guards can all pass it, catch it, and handle it well. You add that to those big guys and they've got a quality team."

Jackson (18-1, 4-1) took charge from the start as they built a 21-13 first quarter lead.

The Indians led by as much as 33-20 in the second quarter but the Bulldogs closed the strong with a 6-0 run to make it 33-26 by halftime.

The Bulldogs out-scored the Indians again in the third quarter behind a pair of Bratcher 3-pointers to cut the lead to 48-45 heading into the fourth quarter.

But the Bulldogs never could take the lead in the fourth quarter.

The Indians got 18 points out of Mirly, including 10-of-15 from the free throw line.

Cardwell had two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish with eight points off the bench.

Julian Beard finished with 12 points while Joel Nabors scored 10 points with nine rebounds and four blocked shots.

Robbie Howard had eight points off the bench, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Scott said he wasn't surprised that his favored Indians struggled with the Bulldogs.

"Everybody talked about it that we should win this game, but Sikeston's athletic and they play hard," said Scott. "They've beaten some quality teams, like Blytheville, and they have some people that can shoot the basketball. Anytime you've got a team that is well-coached, can guard and can shoot it, then it's going to be a tough game."

Tuesday marked the return of Drew Cole, who missed five games with an ankle injury. He scored six points off the bench.

Leading scorer and rebounder Rod Moore, who missed a game with a concussion, returned as well but only scored two points in limited action before fouling out.

But Holifield offered no excuses with his team's performance.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Holifield. "I just wish we would've come out and been a little more aggressive in the first quarter and establish our tempo and our game. We've got to learn to play four complete quarters."

Sikeston will play at Kelly on Friday at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs return home the following night when they host Portageville.

The Sikeston jayvee team fell to 3-9 on the season with a 58-35 loss to Jackson.

Sikeston trailed just 21-17 at the half but fell apart in the second half as the Indians out-scored them 37-18.

Sikeston was led by Blake Taylor's nine points and four assists. Andrew Sales and Stephen Jackson followed up with eight and six points respectively.