Bulldogs hammer Gideon; back over .500
SIKESTON - The Sikeston Bulldogs picked up a much-needed win on Monday at the Field House with a 56-34 victory against the Gideon Bulldogs.
Sikeston went over the .500 mark again, improving to 10-9. It was a much better performance from Saturday's debacle at Portageville.
"We just didn't play well Saturday, our players were embarrassed, our entire program was embarrassed by how we played at Portageville," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "We wanted our players to come back and work hard and they did."
The Bulldogs never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter. Gideon (10-6) got as close as four points in the first quarter but couldn't get any closer.
"They just wouldn't allow us to get open on our offense," said Gideon head coach Keenan Buchanan. "Our offense just struggled so much. We turned it over and never got any open looks. We don't see pressure like that and we can't practice against it because we can't create it in practice. We have a hard time against those things."
The Bulldogs allowed Gideon to get some open shots in the second quarter, but four 3-pointers by Lavar Morgan and Justin Freeman kept the visitors at bay with a 30-16 halftime lead.
Sikeston came out red-hot in the third quarter, scoring the first 14 points to lead 44-16. The Bulldogs eventually outscored Gideon 22-4 in the quarter to lead 52-20 heading into the final frame.
"They came out hot and hit some 3s, and we came out and missed two or three easy shots," said Buchanan. "Before too long it's a 30-point ballgame."
Gideon outscored Sikeston 14-4 in the fourth quarter.
"I didn't think our defense, especially in the first half, did a bad job," said Buchanan. "I think playing competition like this will help us. If something happens and we win our district then we'll play here. Hopefully we'll have a chance to win our district this year and playing in this gym will help us."
Gideon, which was actually taller than Sikeston's front line at 6-6, 6-4 and 6-4, was dominated in the rebounding department. Sikeston grabbed 35 rebounds on the night.
Gideon attempted a full-court press, but the Bulldogs shredded it with easy baskets, including two thunderous alley-oop slam dunks by Lontas McClinton.
"They were giving good pressure on the ball up at the top, we were fortunate enough to get some open looks and some easy baskets," said Holifield. "I was impressed by how (Gideon was) attacking. They weren't timid in any way. Gideon has a fine ballclub. They've got an excellent chance of winning their district down there."
McClinton scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half. He also had nine rebounds. Freeman added 17 points with five 3-pointers. Morgan followed up with 11 points with three 3-pointers.
"They were getting open looks and were knocking the shots down," said Holifield of Freeman and Morgan. "Justin has been struggling as of late and maybe this will get him going. He's such a good shooter when he's set and he just needs to shoot with more confidence. Lavar's been shooting the basketball well for the last couple of weeks."
Michael Colon grabbed seven rebounds with four steals. Lawrence Davis added five rebounds and five assists.
Gideon was led by Terry Raymond and Chris Woodall with eight points each.
Sikeston's jayvee team improved to 10-6 on the season with a 58-24 win over Gideon.
Sikeston led 21-8 after one quarter and 32-15 at the half. They extended the lead to 49-20 entering the fourth quarter.
Sikeston was led by Freddie Wiggins' 12 points and Apollo Patterson's 10 points.
Cody Brewington led Gideon with five points.