The Lady Bulldogs held a 53-52 lead with 1:22 remaining, but Kennett took advantage of a Sikeston turnover, a missed free throw, a missed jumpshot and a missed 3-pointer down the stretch to pull out the victory.
"We just didn't execute," said Sikeston coach Lee Brooks. "I have no excuses. (Kennett) just wanted it more than we did. I thought we had the better team, but the score doesn't show that."
Sikeston's defense had no answer for Kennett senior Rachel Brown. The 6-foot-1 center led all scorers with 33 points, scoring mostly on putbacks.
"She hit some bigtime shots for us," said Kennett coach Crystal Jefferson. "Hopefully we can build on this win. We're trying to get ready for districts, so this is the kind of game we needed."
Brown seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, scoring two points in the first quarter, seven in the second, 10 in the third and then 12 in the fourth.
"Nobody put a body on her all night," said Brooks. "Most of her shots came from putbacks."
Sikeston came out with a bigger lineup than usual on Monday, starting both 5-foot-10 senior Mia Welch and 5-foot-9 sophomore Whitney McCray. The move paid off early as the Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a commanding lead.
McCray ended the first quarter with a buzzer-beater to put Sikeston up 14-6.
Kennett rallied in the second period, sparked by a conventional 3-point play from Brown.
With 2:36 left in the period, Suzanne Carter nailed a 3-pointer to tie the score 18-18.
"We had a good thing going, and then we just let down," said Brooks. "I didn't get the play I wanted out of my twos and threes tonight, and we didn't get it done inside. We're missing too many easy shots inside."
Sikeston ended the quarter on a 9-4 run, capped off by an NBA range 3-pointer from Allison Blurton to make it 27-22 at halftime.
Kennett came charging back in the second half, taking its first lead of the game with 5:17 left in the third period. The Lady Indians took a one-point lead into the final quarter and were able to extend it to six.
Blurton got Sikeston back in the game with an old-fashion 3-pointer and a transition layup. With 1:22 left in regulation, McCray scored off an assist from point guard Paige Silverthorn to give Sikeston a 53-52 lead.
The celebration was short-lived though as Silverthorn committed her fifth foul on the other end of the floor. In the final minute, Sikeston lost the ball out of bounds, missed a turnaround jumper with 14 seconds left and missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Carter hit four free throws in that span to give Kennett the 56-53 victory.
"We didn't play very well, so I'm glad we were able to pull it off," said Jefferson. "We didn't run the offense the way we normally do, plus we rushed shots."
Carter finished the game with 11 points.
For Sikeston, McCray had 18 and Blurton finished with 16. Sikeston (9-7) will travel to NMCC on Thursday for a 6 p.m. game. Kennett (15-3) will host Campbell on Thursday.
In Monday's junior varsity game, Kennett beat Sikeston 48-40. Tiffany Jones led the Lady Indians with 13 points. Latoya Gipson paced Sikeston with 21.