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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

(Photo)
East Prairie's Dez Johnson puts up a shot while Van Buren's Matt Clark defends
(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
No. 2, No. 5 seeds fall in opening round of Christmas Tournament

BLOOMFIELD -- The 49th Annual Bloomfield Tournament had its fair share of surprises in the first round on Monday.

East Prairie, a No. 12 seed, advanced to the winner's bracket for the first time in recent memory with a 68-55 win against No. 5 Van Buren.

And in one of the biggest shockers in the history of the tournament, 15th-

seeded Richland upset second-seeded South Pemiscot 60-54.

Other first round games went as seeded as top-seeded Doniphan knocked off No. 16 Greenville 65-19; No. 3 Twin Rivers ripped No. 14 East Carter 85-32; No. 4 Portageville downed No. 13 Bloomfield 56-35; No. 6 Dexter beat No. 11 Hayti 69-51; No. 7 Malden beat No. 10 Bernie 68-35; and No. 8 Kennett got past No. 9 Puxico 55-49.

In the East Prairie game, the Eagles fell behind 21-13 but they got a big boost of momentum when Dez Johnson stole the ball and hit a 3-pointer at the first quarter horn to cut the lead to 21-16.

It was all East Prairie from there as they out-scored Van Buren 14-4 in the second quarter to take a 30-25 lead at halftime.

East Prairie (3-5) maintained a 43-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter, which is when sophomore forward Tony Jones took over, scoring 14 of his game-high 23 points to help the Eagles pull away for the double-digit victory.

In addition to Jones, junior Caleb Hatton added 18 points for the Eagles.

"Tony really stepped up in the fourth quarter -- that's what we expect out of Tony," said East Prairie coach Jason Irby. "He can be as good as he wants to be. He has so much ability. Caleb Hatton came into the starting lineup for the first time tonight and had 18 points and finished a lot of tough shots around the basket."

Johnson and Mitchell Winchester also broke into double figures with 10 points apiece.

Irby said the difference in the game was the Eagles' work on the offensive glass.

"All year long those are areas we've been getting killed on," said Irby. "We've been giving up a lot of second chance points and not getting any ourselves. Tonight the guys did a great job of getting to the offensive boards and getting some easy shots around the basket."

It's Van Buren's first loss of the season, dropping them to 7-1. They will play Bloomfield today at 1:45 p.m. East Prairie plays Portageville at 5:30 p.m.

It's believe to be the first time in Bloomfield Tournament history that a No. 2 seed team lost to a No. 15 seed.

Richland (4-4) jumped out to a 12-10 first quarter lead and extended the advantage to 31-24 by halftime. South Pemiscot was able to close the gap to 39-38 heading into the fourth quarter but they couldn't overtake the Rebels.

The Rebels got a team-high 20 points from Cameron Whittaker. Tommy Harlan added 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Matt Ritch chipped in with 12 points.

South Pemiscot (7-2) was led by Anthony Jones with 21 points. Chance Rucker followed up with 11 points.

Richland plays Malden in the last game tonight at 8:30. South Pemiscot plays Bernie at 12:30 p.m.

Dexter 69, Hayti 51

The Bearcats (1-6) won their first game of the season and in the process kept alive their chance at an eighth straight tournament championship.

Hayti's quickness and relentless work on the boards appeared to catch Dexter off guard from the start of the game as the Indians (3-5) jumped out to a 13

-10 first quarter lead.

But the Bearcats responded with a strong second quarter to take control of the game, leading 29-25 at halftime.

The Bearcats extended the lead to 47-38 heading into the fourth quarter.

Hayti closed the game to six points in the final frame but they wouldn't get any closer as Dexter quickly pulled away for a comfortable victory.

Eric Rinehart scored 21 of his season-high 29 points in the second half with most coming in the paint.

Drew Satterfield and Cole Smith each added 10 points for the Bearcats.

Hayti was led by 6-foot-5, 250-pound sophomore William Cooper with 15 points.

Shawn Jones chipped in with 11 points.

Dexter plays Twin Rivers at 7 p.m. tonight. Hayti played East Carter at 11 a.m. this morning.

In a defensive-minded game, Portageville took an 11-4 first quarter lead and a 27-13 halftime edge.

The Bulldogs (3-3) put the game away with a 17-8 third quarter run to lead 44-21 heading into the fourth quarter.

Trey Mosby led the Bulldogs with 18 points.

Bloomfield (4-5) was led by Kyle Williamson's 12 points.

Kade McBroom scored a game-high 28 points and hit nine 3-pointers to lead Twin Rivers to a dominating victory.

Michael Lance followed up with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The Royals (7-1) were never in any danger as they ran out to a 28-8 first quarter lead.

They led 48-20 at halftime and 74-27 heading into the fourth quarter which enforced the running clock mercy rule.

East Carter (2-5) was led by Kris Whitaker's seven points.

After a fairly competitive first quarter in which Doniphan led 18-11, the Dons exploded with an 18-1 second quarter run to essentially put the game away, leading 36-12 at halftime.

Doniphan (8-0) made it 57-15 heading into the fourth quarter where the mercy rule was enforced.

Doniphan was led by Nick Webb's 18 points. Matt Rogers and Charles Wilson each had 14 points.

Greenville (0-7) was led by Donnie Meyer's eight points.

Doniphan will play Kennett at 4 p.m. today while Greenville will take on Puxico at 2 p.m.

The Green Wave (3-5) out-scored Bernie 18-5 in the second quarter to pull away to a 34-18 halftime edge.

Malden coasted from there, out-scoring Bernie 19-10 in the third quarter to lead 53-28 heading into the final frame.

Malden was led by Quentin Franks' 19 points and Alonzo Louis' 18 points.

Bernie was led by Doug Johnson's nine points.

In the final game of the night, Kennett overcame a 33-32 third quarter deficit with a come from behind victory in the fourth.

Kennett (4-4) out-scored Puxico (5-3) 23-16 in the fourth quarter with Corderro Taylor pumping in 18 points. Jared Hughes added 14 points for the Indians.

Puxico was led by 6-foot-5 senior Jonathan Helm with 23 points.