The Sikeston 9th grade team defeated Jackson 57-46 to improve to 2-0 on the season while the Sikeston 8th grade team narrowly defeated Jackson 35
-34 to win their season-opener.
In the 9th grade game, Sikeston trailed 19-17 after one quarter but turned up the pressure in the second quarter to manage a 27-26 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs kept up the pressure in the third quarter to extend the lead to 45-32. They appeared to be on the verge of blowing out the Indians as they staged a 48-32 lead in the early fourth quarter, but missed free throws allowed the Indians to get back into the game.
Jackson cut the lead to six points in the fourth but couldn't get any closer.
"I was proud of the effort and the intensity that we had," said Sikeston freshman coach Chris Sarakas. "We came out, turned up the pressure and converted some quick points off turnovers. We've just got keep working hard."
The Indians were able to get behind the Bulldog defense for transition baskets much of the night.
"We got a little tired and we weren't getting back on defense," said Sarakas. "They were able to get some quick buckets off layups."
Sikeston was just 15-of-35 from the free throw line, something that Sarakas hopes will improve in time.
"We haven't had a lot of time to work on free throws -- we've been working on everything else," said Sarakas. "Any time you can start off 2-0 early in the year it's a good start. We'll just keep working and try to improve."
Sikeston was led by Eli Jackson's 18 points. Niquavious Dixon and Juqualin Wiggins each added 10 points. Dewayne Harris scored eight points.
Jackson was led by Eli Crohn with 12 points and Tyler Qualls with 10 points.
In the 8th grade game, Sikeston needed a late basket from Corey Porter to defeat the Indians.
Trailing 34-33, Sikeston inbounded the ball and found Porter for the go-
ahead basket with 13 seconds left.
Jackson worked up the floor for a potential game-winning shot but it was an airball as the clock ran out.
"We ran our final inbounds play to perfection," said Sikeston 8th grade coach Kevin Self. "I knew if we could get Corey the ball down there that he was going to score. I was happy with the way we hung in there and executed when we had to."
Sikeston led from the outset. The Bulldogs led 6-5 after one quarter and 18
-11 at halftime.
But Jackson went to a zone in the second half and Sikeston struggled solving the defense as Jackson got back into the game, trailing 24-21 entering the fourth.
Both teams exchanged leads throughout the final quarter until Porter's game-
"This is a good way to start the year," said Self. "I thought we stayed composed when things got tough."
Porter led Sikeston with 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Deaires Tate followed up with 10 points.
Sikeston's junior high teams will be back in action on Thursday when they host Poplar Bluff.