This victory, marks the third straight time this season that Sikeston has defeated Kelly. The first two wins for the Lady Bulldogs were in the Chaffee and Twin Rivers Tournaments, by scores of 70-58 and 70-34 respectively.
"I worried about this game all the time over the break," said Sikeston head coach Fred Johnson. "It is very difficult to beat a team three times in one season. Kelly came out better prepared tonight and played a good game. Our girls were a little out of sync after the break, but overall I am pleased with the effort our girls gave."
Sikeston jumped on Kelly early in the contest, as senior Allison Blurton and junior Latoya Gipson played an excellent first quarter. Blurton had seven points in the quarter, while Gipson pumped in eight points and the Lady Bulldogs sprinted out to a 21-10 lead after one.
It was a Sikeston dominated first quarter, as the Lady Bulldogs passed the basketball effectively for eight assists in the quarter compared with no turnovers. Sikeston held a 9-3 rebounding advantage over Kelly in the first.
At halftime, Gipson had 13 first half points. Blurton tallied 10 points, five assists and had two steals. Sophomore point guard Amber Minner scored three points, but her main asset in the first half was her ability to crash the boards from the backcourt. Minner grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists.
For Kelly, freshman Katee Moore led Kelly with 12 first half points, thanks to three 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Debra Hall scored four points and had four rebounds at the half. Junior point guard Brittany Ponder had four assists at the half for the Lady Hawks.
Sikeston continued to control the boards in the second quarter, and by half had a 19-8 rebounding advantage over Kelly. The Lady Bulldogs gathered nine offensive boards, compared to the one offensive rebound brought in by the Lady Hawks.
"When you're young," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter, "the little things count. We play 10 freshmen and sophomores, so we have to be patient and let them come along at their own pace."
Trailing by 13 entering the third quarter, Kelly came out on fire and went on an 8-0 run to begin the quarter. All eight points were scored by Moore, who hit two 3-pointers and a short jump shot in a two minute time span.
The Lady Hawks outscored Sikeston 14-11 in the third quarter and trailed 50-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sikeston held a 54-46 advantage with five minutes remaining in the contest. Gipson fouled out for the Lady Bulldogs with three minutes to go and Sikeston up 56-46.
Kelly scratched back into the game, due to several low-post baskets by Hall and a couple of made 3-pointers by Moore. With 1:30 left in the contest, Kelly trailed Sikeston 56-51.
Blurton was fouled and hit two big free-throws for the Lady Bulldogs to put Sikeston up 58-51. On the ensuing possession for Kelly, Hall retrieved an offensive rebound and stuck it back in. The Lady Hawks trailed by five, 58-53 with 48 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
With 37 seconds left, Johnson had his team run an excellent out-of-bounds play, that found Blurton wide open and score a huge layup, to put the Lady Bulldogs back up by seven, 60-53.
On the Lady Hawks next offensive possession, Hall was fouled and hit two free-throws to bring Kelly back within five, 60-55. However, after Jessica McCray of Sikeston hit 1-of-2 free-throws and a costly turnover, the Lady Hawks' attempt at a comeback was done. Sikeston held on to the 62-58 victory.
"Give a lot of credit to Kelly," said Johnson, "they played hard and never gave up. Our girls showed a lot of poise tonight, because when Kelly made that run late in the game, we did not lose our focus and we got through the run. Proud of they way the girls finished the game."
Moore had a huge shooting night for Kelly, making six 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 26 points. Moore also had four rebounds. Hall finished with 12 points and led the Lady Hawks with 11 rebounds.
Ponder found the open player for Kelly and ended with a game-high nine assists. In addition, Ponder chipped in with seven points and three rebounds.
For the game, Kelly had 14 assists and committed 14 turnovers.
"Our girls played with focus, passion and a positive attitude tonight," said McQuerter. "Sikeston is a good team and we are now focused on getting better in time for districts."
Blurton had an all-around nice game scoring 19 points, six assists, four steals and three rebounds. Gipson was second on the team with 15 points. Minner finished with eight points, six rebounds and six assists for the Lady Bulldogs.
Martika Davis had a good effort off the bench for Sikeston. Davis scored eight points, led the team with seven rebounds and had three assists.
Sikeston had 28 rebounds (12 offensive) compared to Kelly's 21 rebounds (four offensive) for the game. Sikeston as a team dished out 21 assists, to 14 turnovers.
The Lady Hawks won the junior varsity contest over Sikeston, 54-32.
Kelly (5-4) will play in the Scott-Miss Tournament, and will be in action Wednesday night against the host school Scott City. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
Sikeston (7-4) will remain at home, as the Caruthersville Lady Tigers will travel north to take on the Lady Bulldogs. Game time is at 6 p.m. on Monday night.
Sikeston 62, Kelly 58
KELLY (58) - Katee Moore 26, Debra Hall 12, Brittany Ponder 7, Summer Proctor 4, Mindy Robert 4, Nikki Weiny 2, Leigh Ann Buchheit 2, Sarah Ruff 1. FG 13. FT 11-16. F 17. (3-pointers: Moore 6, Ponder 1. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (62) - Allison Blurton 19, Latoya Gipson 15, Amber Minner 8, Martika Davis 8, Whitney McCray 5, Keyarra Blissett 4, Jessica McCray 3. FG 20. FT 10-16. F 12. (3-pointers: Blurton 2, Minner 2. Fouled out: Gipson).