CAPE GIRARDEAU - The Sikeston junior varsity basketball team took second in the Notre Dame Invitational Junior Varsity Tournament on Friday with a 55-38 loss to Poplar Bluff in the championship game.
Sikeston tied the score at halftime on a 3-pointer by Clay Lincoln at the buzzer, but the Mules out-scored the Bulldogs 29-12 in the second half to win the title.
"We kind of wore down in the second half and we couldn't get our shots to fall," said Sikeston JV coach Brian James. "We have nothing to be ashamed about by getting second place. It's a tough tournament every year and we had a very good showing in it."
The score was tied 9-9 after one quarter of play. The Mules opened up a lead in the second quarter but a pair of 3-pointers by Marcus McCaster and Lincoln's buzzer-beater tied the game at 26-26 heading into the locker rooms.
Sikeston managed just three points in the third quarter as Poplar Bluff took a 37-29 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mules were able to pull away from there.
"I think we had a productive week," said James. "We haven't had a lot of practice early on. After football season we got a couple of our kids late, but we had a good week considering the amount of practice time we've had. This group's going to keep getting better and better. They work hard, they want to win. They're going to keep getting better."
McCaster led the Bulldogs with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Apollo Patterson followed up with seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
Poplar Bluff was led by Ben Hansbrough with 19 points. Brad Chronister followed up with 12 points.
Sikeston's junior varsity (3-1) will be back in action on Tuesday when they play at Marion (Ill.) at 6 p.m. prior to the varsity game.