DESOTO - One night after getting run out of the gym at Dexter High School on Friday night, the Sikeston Bulldogs did a complete 180, and pulled the same trick at DeSoto High School.
The Bulldogs thoroughly dominated the highly-touted Dragons on Saturday night, winning 49-28 to even their record at 2-2.
The Bulldogs held DeSoto (0-2) under 10 points in every single quarter with tight, man-to-man defense.
"I really thought we came out and played with great intensity," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "This is such a difficult place to play. Our defense was so much better and I'm really proud of our players for the way they responded after what happened Friday night at Dexter. We just didn't play very well there, but the players came in with a positive attitude today, they worked hard and that's how we've got to play to beat people."
DeSoto, the defending Class 3A District 2 champions, never seemed to be in the game from the start.
With a 13-9 lead, Bulldog senior Justin Freeman buried a 3-pointer at the first quarter buzzer to give the team momentum at a 16-9 advantage.
DeSoto was able to cut the lead to 16-13 in the second quarter but that was as close as they would get.
Sikeston's Lavar Morgan went on a shooting tear, scoring 14 points late in the second quarter, including four 3-pointers to give the Bulldogs a 32-17 halftime lead.
One of Morgan's 3s was at the halftime buzzer.
Morgan finished with a game-high 16 points.
"We played with more confidence and we were zeroed in," said Holifield. "The players came in and established themselves on the defensive end and on the boards."
The second half wasn't much prettier for DeSoto as the Bulldogs opened up a 41-19 lead. Sikeston led 43-22 entering the final quarter.
Substitutes played most of the fourth quarter for both teams.
Sikeston's Lontas McClinton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, with six coming on the offensive end. Point guard Lawrence Davis had two points with 10 assists and four rebounds.
DeSoto's Rodney Kelly, last year's St. Louis Post-Dispatch player of the year in Jefferson County, led the Dragons with 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
DeSoto's 6-foot-7 center Andy Sides, who had 21 points and eight rebounds against Cape Central on Friday night, had just two points (0-6 shooting) and one rebound on Saturday.
Sikeston out-rebounded DeSoto 42-23. The Dragons made just 9-of-46 shots (19 percent) from the field.
Sikeston has now defeated DeSoto four straight times and five of the last six in the series.
Sikeston will play Blytheville today at 7 p.m. in the Sikeston Invitational Tournament.
Our schedule is so tough early in the season that any win is a big win," said Holifield. "Our tournament's going to be very difficult. Blytheville's going to be a tough game. After the game Friday night, our players are ready to play. They want to show people that they can play. They were disappointed and so was I."
Sikeston's jayvee team improved to 5-2 on the season with a 61-52 win over DeSoto.
Sikeston trailed 9-8 after one quarter but tied the score at 23-23 by halftime.
DeSoto led 36-33 entering the fourth quarter but the JV Bulldogs rallied for 28 points in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
Sikeston's Freddie Wiggins had 17 points and five rebounds. Freshman Marcus McCaster followed up with 11 points.
DeSoto was led by 6-foot-6 sophomore Anthony Thebeau with 21 points.