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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Sikeston falls to Tigers

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Sikeston's Drew Cole pulls down a rebound in front of Caruthersville's Symone Branch.
SIKESTON - It may be Caruthersville's first year in the SEMO Conference, but they're making it look easy.

The Tigers have run the table so far, including Tuesday night's 66-55 win against Sikeston at the Field House, to improve to 4-0 in the league.

The Tigers were in control from the opening tip as they took a 6-0 lead and never trailed.

Sikeston (4-4, 1-2 SEMO Conference)) kept the game from being a blowout, but they were never in a position to overtake the Tigers.

The Bulldogs, who trailed by as much as 21 points, actually out-scored Caruthersville (8-1) in the second half 36-30. But the Tigers' huge first half lead of 36-19 was too much to overcome.

"It wasn't one of our better games, no doubt about it," said Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield. "You have to give Caruthersville credit, they negated what we wanted to do. They built a 15-point lead and maintained it throughout the evening. We didn't play very well, we weren't aggressive, we had a lot of standing offensively and defensively. We can't play a game like that.

"Everybody here knows that. Tonight I thought we backed down a little bit."

Caruthersville's standout senior trio of Plessie Ellitt, Paul Sanders and Kyle Hubbard did the bulk of the damage as they combined to score 55 of the team's 66 points.

"Hubbard is a McDonald's All-American nominee and he's probably our best all-around player, but we've really got three main horses," said Caruthersville coach Brian Brandtner.

"I thought Plessie and Paul Sanders played the best games tonight for us."

Ellitt scored 20 points to the lead the way. Sanders followed up with 18 points.

Sikeston couldn't get anything going offensively as they were just 1-of-14 from 3-point range.

Streak-shooter Kash Bratcher was particularly cold, going 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. He was held to five points.

"We knew if he started heating up we were going to be in big-time trouble," said Brandtner of Bratcher. "We wanted to make sure we knew where he was. I thought we defended pretty well tonight."

Caruthersville's quickness and athleticism also kept the Bulldogs off the boards and they were able to come up with nearly every loose ball.

"I think 1-through-5 they may be the quickest team we've seen all year," said Holifield. "They are quick at every position and they're good players on top of that.

"They know how to play the game. They have a very good basketball team and they're not going to lose many games."

Caruthersville built a 19-9 first quarter lead and extended it to 30-13 in the second quarter.

Sikeston went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 30-19 with 30 seconds left in the half but the Tigers hit back-to-back 3-pointers to close the half and take a commanding 36-19 lead.

Sikeston trailed by as much as 20 in the third quarter but again cut the lead to 46-33 with 1:15 left in the third. But again, the Tigers closed the quarter strong, scoring consecutive baskets to make it 50-33 entering the fourth.

The Bulldogs never got closer than the final score in the fourth quarter.

"We could've handled some stuff down the stretch a little better, but overall I'm pleased to come into Sikeston and beat a team of their caliber, as well coached as they are," said Brandtner.

"You could tell the Bulldogs had a little rust after three weeks off. We shot the ball about the same way last night after two weeks off, so I understand what that's like for them."

Sikeston was led in scoring by sophomore Julian Beard's 16 points, all coming in the second half. He was 8-of-8 from the free throw line.

Joel Nabors had 10 points and six rebounds.

"We have to use this as a learning experience and understand how we have to play the game and approach the game," said Holifield. "To our players' credit, we've had good practices.

"They've worked hard and done a good job. You just have to carry that over to games. We've had a three-week layoff and you have to tendency to come out sluggish in your first game."

Sikeston will play at Charleston on Friday at 6 p.m. Caruthersville will play at New Madrid County Central on Friday at 6 p.m.

Sikeston's junior varsity won its second game of the year to improve to 2-6 and 1-2 in SEMO Conference play after a 65-18 thrashing of Caruthersville.

Sikeston was never challenged throughout as they led 12-3 at the end of one and 29-6 at the half.

Sikeston led 53-12 entering the fourth quarter.

The mercy rule kept the clock running the entire fourth quarter.

Sikeston was led by Blake Taylor's 22 points. Cortne Beasley and Brujae Lane each had nine points.

Andrew Sales had seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Joe Moore had seven points and eight rebounds.

Cameron Wiggins followed up with six points and six rebounds.