SIKESTON - The Sikeston junior varsity basketball team opened the season with a 52-39 loss to the Charleston JV team on Monday in the Notre Dame Junior Varsity Tournament.
Sikeston shot poorly from the field and the free throw line, missing several point-blank layups and hitting just 3-of-16 from the foul line.
"We missed some shots that I think we'll eventually be able to hit," said Sikeston jayvee coach Brian James. "With the first game, you're not going to click like you want to. We did some things pretty decent, but we've just got to capitalize on the easy opportunities we had."
Freshman Apollo Patterson led Sikeston with 13 points. Nate Thomas followed up with 12 points and Freddie Wiggins had nine.
Charleston was led by Dadrian Jones and Dramel Jones with 13 each. Joshua Strayhorn had 10.
Sikeston will play Blytheville tonight at 6 p.m. at the Field House. The Bulldogs will resume the Notre Dame Tournament on Wednesday at 5:30 against Farmington. Charleston will play Notre Dame at 8:15 on Wednesday.
CHARLESTON -- Almost, but not quite.
The Dexter Lady Bearcats nearly fought back from a 13-point third-quarter deficit in Monday's season-opener against the Charleston Lady Jays, but came up just short in a 57-53 loss.
Dexter coach Gavin Miller was pleased with this squad's intensity late in the contest.
"I told my girls from about the four-minute mark of the third quarter to the end of the game, we outhustled them," Miller said after the game. "We outplayed them. That's when our little comeback started. (The girls) just have to play the whole game like that. ... That's the bottom line."
Dexter (0-1) still trailed 52-44 midway through the fourth quarter when 5-11 center Katie Dunlap began to make her presence felt. Dunlap rebounded a missed free throw and stuck it back in to slice Charleston's lead to six (52-46), then sank a pair of free throws and made another bucket as the Lady Bearcats closed to within 52-50.
"She's very aggressive and she's getting more mobile," Miller said of Dunlap. "She's 5-foot-11. She's got some size...and she works hard. ... Katie's a good all-around ballplayer."
Dexter still had a chance to tie the game with 1:31 left in the contest as Amy Rose sank the first of two free throws to slice the lead to one (52-51), but missed the second free throw.
The Lady Jays (1-0) could have iced the game from there, but missed 11 of 16 free throws in the final 1:11 of the contest.
However, the Lady Bearcats could not capitalize, scoring just two points in that stretch.
Charleston took control of the game early in the second quarter, using a 7-0 run early in the period to break a 14-14 tie and led 31-28 at the intermission.
The Lady Jays threatened to break the game open in the third quarter, using an 11-1 spurt to go up 48-35 with 1:34 left in the period before Dexter began its comeback.
Dunlap and Rose each scored 16 points to pace the Lady Bearcats, while Carrie DeArman pulled down 10 rebounds and Dunlap hauled in nine.
Charleston's Arquilla Ward led all scorers with 17 points, while teammate Tyshanta Williams added 16 and Dreelle Mathis added 13.
Miller saw many areas where his team needs to improve.
"We definitely need to work on our defense," Miller said. "I just told the girls...as sophomores, we gave up over 57 points only three times last year. It's evident that defense is the key."
Miller considered the loss a learning experience.
"All in all, I'm not happy with the loss, but again...the first game's the key to kind of see where you need to be," Miller said. "They realize now that they have to work harder in practice. They realize now that they have to play 100 percent of intensity the whole game."
The Lady Bearcats are in action again next Monday at Benton as they face Kelly.
Kelly 58, Delta 46
BENTON - The Kelly girls basketball team opened the season with a 58-46 win over Delta on Monday.
Kelly was led in scoring by Bridgett Riley's 18 points. Dana Essner added 12 and Christy Klesner had 10.
Delta was led by Rebecca Below's 21 points and Sarah Jo Cook with 12 points.
"The girls came out, they played hard and they played as a team," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter.
The Kelly junior varsity team won 34-29 over Delta. Jessica Barnett had nine to lead Kelly. Tiffany Johnson had 10 to lead Delta.