(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- A slow second and third quarter for the Lady Bulldogs proved to be too much for Sikeston to overcome Thursday night, helping the Kelly Lady Hawks to cruise to a 51-34 road victory.
"Kelly is a very tough team," said Sikeston head coach Homer Jackson. "They play in a system where all their players are on the same accord, with each fulfilling their roles and you got to give them credit."
The Lady Bulldogs kept pace with the Lady Hawks for most of the first quarter but a 6-0 run attributed by the out side shooting of Debra Hall and Londyn Backfisch allowed Kelly to gain a 19-12 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Backfisch lead the Hawks with 16 points and one 3-pointer while Hall, who battled with foul trouble most of the game, finished with 12 points.
"We told them we had to pick up the intensity," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "There's no getting tired this time the year and I am proud of the girls picking it up and playing harder."
Kelly (7-3) found themselves up 32-14 as they headed into the locker room at halftime.
"We played good in the beginning for a while," said Jackson. "But they began to dribble and penetrate on us from one end of the court to the other and that really credited them to too many easy lay ups. We just had a hard time getting back on defense."
While the Lady Hawks were busy racing the Bulldogs down the court, Sikeston had a hard time finding the bottom of the basket on their end.
Six total second and third quarter points found the Lady Bulldogs down 41-
18 at the start of the final quarter and although Sikeston managed to find their stride with 16 fourth quarter points, it proved to be too little too late.
"In the second and third quarter, we were just out of position from where we wanted to be," said Jackson. "By time we figured out what we needed to do in the fourth quarter, we had dug such a deep hole, it was a little too hard to get out of."
As the final buzzer sounded the Lady Hawks sealed the victory 51-34.
"When you go against a school of this caliber it is great to come out with a win," said McQuerter. "Sikeston is a very big and physical basketball team and Coach Jackson has got them playing very well right now. They came out, played hard, and competed for every position.
"But this win right here was for number three, Sarah Ruff and she knows why."
Ruff, a senior starter for the Lady Hawks when the season began, injured her knee before the Lady Royals Christmas Classic and will miss the rest of the season.
Sikeston (2-7) was led by Amber Minner and Monika Gray-El who each finished the game with 13 points.
Sikeston will travel to Caruthersville on Monday.
NEW MADRID -- The Malden Lady Wave slipped past the New Madrid County Central Lady Eagles Thursday night 54-52.
The Lady Eagles were led in scoring by Shameika Williams' 21.
Malden also won the junior varsity game 28-18.
NMCC (5-8) will be back in action Monday when they travel to Jackson.