BROSELEY -- Sikeston won the Red Division championship of the 5th Annual Lady Royals Holiday Classic Friday night, beating Senath-Hornersville in the title game, 50-33.
The Lady Bulldogs entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and Senath was No. 1.
"The girls worked very hard for it," said Sikeston coach Lee Brooks. "Like I've said before, this is the hardest working team I've ever had. It's not the most talented team I've had, but tonight the girls knew what they had to do and pulled together as a team to get it done. I think this is a big step for us, an accomplishment that can help the girls see what is possible."
With the victory, Sikeston improves to 6-3 in what was expected to be rebuilding year for the program. "I thought this season was going to be a long one," said Brooks. "But so far, this team has given me a pretty good ride."
Sikeston won the game with a balanced attack. Summer Ray, the team's only senior starter, led all scorers with 15 points. "Summer has done a great job of leading the team," said Brooks. "Sometimes she feels like she's out there by herself, and we have to keep reassuring her that she's not. She's a great leader."
Jennifer Medlin finished with 13 points, and possibly set a tournament record, shooting 11-of-11 from the foul line. Kerri Jones had 12 points and Joy Daniel added nine.
Sikeston started the game playing man-to-man defense, and fell behind 10-7. The Lady Bulldogs then switched to a zone in the second quarter, and it resulted in a 21-7 Sikeston run.
"Mainly, we just had to start blocking out and playing tougher defense," said Brooks. "We have more confidence in our zone because we've worked on it more this year. We're not that fast, but we know how to cover the corners. (Senath) never did solve it."
Sikeston outscored Senath 12-11 in the third quarter to take a 40-28 lead into the final frame.
"We didn't do very well against the press with Neelyville or Greenville," said Brooks. "We worked a lot on just breaking the press, and told the girls in order to win this thing, we were going to have to be up 10 or 12 points going into the last quarter. They seemed to buy into it."
Sikeston outscored Senath 12-11 in the period to claim the Red Division championship.
Ashley Bruce Kelli Blankenship led Senath-Hornersville in scoring with 10 points each.
Sikeston will be back in action on Jan. 7, hosting Caruthersville.
"Over the break, we're going to work on some of the things we don't do very well," said Brooks. "We're trying to prepare these kids to where they can step up to the next level next year."
Charleston won the third place game of the Blue Division Friday, beating Malden 58-53.
Anquilla Ward led the Lady Bluejays with 17 points, followed by Missy Whitney with 14 and Dre-Elle Mathis with 10. Justlin Barber paced the Lady Wave and led all scorers with 23.