Bulldogs use the free throw line to aid in win; hit 22-of-24
POPLAR BLUFF -- The Sikeston Bulldogs came away with a fifth place finish at the Poplar Bluff Showdown on Saturday evening, as they handed the host Poplar Bluff Mules a loss by a score of 70-56.
Sikeston's Michael Porter led all players in scoring with 28 points. He also added a double-double as he recorded 17 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in the victory. He was also 10-for-11 at the free-throw line.
"We knew it was going to be tough coming in here," Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield said. "Poplar Bluff's a good team, and they've beaten good people."
"I was proud of our kids' effort," he added. "I thought we played well at times."
The Mules trailed by just two points, 16-14, after one quarter of play, as Jordan Chaligoj hit two big 3-pointers to jump-start Poplar Bluff.
In the second quarter however, the Bulldogs put up 19 points, including a drop-step dunk from Brandon Washington that got the momentum rolling for the red-and-black.
Porter finished the first half with 17 points, as Sikeston led 35-28 at the break.
The third quarter saw a brief run from the Mules, as Chris Kilgore piled in eight points, while Riley Raulston hit for six of his own. They cut the lead to five after three quarters, 50-45.
The Bulldogs weren't going to allow the host team back into the game, as five players put up numbers for Sikeston in the fourth quarter, headlined by 6-
for-7 shooting at the free-throw line down the stretch.
Sikeston outscored Poplar Bluff 20-11 in the fourth quarter as they rolled on to the win.
The Bulldogs were 22-for-24 at the line in the victory.
"We've got a lot of work to do defensively," Holifield said. "But our kids are ready to get to work. We've got Charleston Friday at home."
Juqualin Wiggins was another key factor in the win Saturday for Sikeston, as he, like Porter, scored a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Sherwin Jones also had 12 points while Matt Ritch added four points and six assists.
Up next for Sikeston is Friday night at home against the Charleston Bluejays. Junior varsity action is set for 6 p.m. with the varsity match-up to follow.
NOTES -- Union City won the championship, defeating Harrison, Ga. 54-
59 in the championship game. Raytown South beat Liberty Tech, Tenn., for third place 69-63 while Maplewood outlasted Little Rock Mills 103-98 in triple overtime to win the seventh place game.