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Sikeston salvages game in Superman

Monday, January 21, 2002

METROPOLIS, Ill. -- The Sikeston Bulldogs ended the Superman Classic on Saturday on a positive note, defeating Dickson County, Tenn., 57-38 in the seventh place game.

The Bulldogs snapped a five-game Superman Classic losing streak with the victory, which improved the team to 8-7 this season.

Saturday's game marked the sixth time the Bulldogs have held a team under 50 points this year and the third time they've held a team under 40.

"In the first half our pressure and intensity was the best it's been since the Doniphan game," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "We've got to put ourselves in a position to be consistent with that intensity every game."

The Bulldogs played one of its best defensive games of the year, holding the Cougars to 18 points after three quarters of play.

"They so much more athletic than we were," said Dickson County head coach Kevin Tuck, whose team falls to 9-12. "We would have to play very well to beat them. They played with a lot of passion the first half and killed us on the boards."

Sikeston out-rebounded the Cougars 32-20 in the game.

Sikeston trailed 4-0 to start the game but the Bulldogs responded with a 16-0 run that extended into the second quarter. Sikeston led 12-6 after one.

Dickson County didn't score again until the 5:25 mark of the second quarter.

"In the second quarter we got shook," said Tuck. "We were playing pretty well then we missed layups that would've kept us close. They kept a big lead on us but they were able to hold us off."

The Bulldogs led 25-12 at the half.

Sikeston coasted through the second half, leading 38-18 after three quarters and leading 41-18 in the fourth quarter before Holifield emptied his bench.

Dickson County scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, two more than they had the first three quarters combined.

The Bulldogs struggled a bit offensively at times but overall Holifield was pleased with the performance.

"They were playing zone and our players handled it and adjusted much better than we did against Caruthersville," said Holifield. "We stressed a couple of points in practice and our players picked up on it and did a good job."

The Cougars collapsed the zone deep into the paint to try to contain junior standout Lontas McClinton, who still finished with a game-high 21 points. He also had 10 rebounds and four steals.

"In our area the teams we see play good man to man defense," said Holifield. "Occasionally we're going to see (tight zone defenses). It's a different style over here and we've had to make a couple of adjustments."

McClinton was named to the all-tournament team. Also being selected all-tournament was junior point guard Lavar Morgan, who had nine points with five rebounds and four assists.

Justin Freeman added 10 points. Junior 6-7 center Ben Anderson had one of his better games with four rebounds and four blocked shots.

Dickson County, a school of 2,400 students, was led by Josh Burgess with 10 points.

Sikeston plays at Jackson on Tuesday at 6 p.m.