Led by sophomore guards Kyisha Ricks and Leola Hubbard, the Lady Tigers (6-3) gave Sikeston all they wanted. Ricks and Hubbard combined to score 47 points, but Caruthersville could not contain the low-post play of Sikeston.
Senior Whitney McCray and sophomore Martika Davis, used their 5-foot-10 frames, to dominate in the paint for the Lady Bulldogs. McCray had 16 points and 16 rebounds (five offensive), while Davis scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds (four offensive) off the bench for Sikeston.
"Our biggest weakness is our play down-low, and it showed tonight." said Caruthersville head coach Stacey Harlow. "We had problems trying to stop them on the offensive glass. We are a young team and our bench is not that deep. We had a lot of first-year players playing tonight."
Sikeston outrebounded Caruthersville 43-26, and had an 18-10 advantage on offensive rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs took advantage of their size early, as McCray scored 12 of her 16 points in the first quarter. Caruthersville stayed close in the quarter, as Hubbard scored eight points. The Lady Tigers trailed 23-17 heading into the second quarter.
Ricks and Hubbard combined to hit three 3's in the second quarter for Caruthersville, and trailed 35-34 at the half. Both guards for the Lady Tigers were quick off the dribble, and were accurate from the three-point line early in the contest.
"I had no idea No. 20 (Hubbard) and No. 4 (Ricks) were that good," said Sikeston head coach Fred Johnson. "They (Hubbard and Ricks) were quick and handled the ball well. Both can shoot and pass very effectively. They were hard to handle."
Ricks scored 16 points in the first half with two 3-pointers, while Hubbard had 13 points with one 3-pointer in the half.
McCray led the way for Sikeston in the first half with 12 points and six rebounds. Senior Allison Blurton chipped in with 10 points by halftime.
In the third quarter, Sikeston could not pull away from Carthersville, as both teams enjoyed the lead for a short period. However, the Lady Bulldogs got some key buckets in the paint from McCray and Davis to go on a 6-0 run to end the third quarter. Sikeston led 53-48 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs held Caruthersville to only nine points in the fourth, and hit some crucial free-throws to seal the 67-57 victory over the Lady Tigers.
"We will take this ugly win," said Johnson. "I had no idea what Caruthersville brought to the table. I didn't do my job as coach. We will be prepared when we play Notre Dame on Thursday. No excuses, however, Caruthersville played a good ballgame and were ready to play. We are going to have to learn to bring our intensity up if we expect to get anywhere this season."
Hubbard finished with 24 points and four assists for Caruthersville. Ricks tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and two assists. The Lady Tigers had 11 assists compared to 14 turnovers for the game.
"Our guards are always trying to push the basketball and look for opportunities for a good shot," said Harlow. "They are young and will continue to improve."
Besides McCray and Davis, Blurton tied in leading scorer honors with 16 points and had six assists. Latoya Gipson had 13 points and four rebounds, all were offensive. Point guard Amber Minner continues to her improve her play, with seven assists and four rebounds. Freshman Keyarra Blissett had six points, five rebounds (four offensive) and two assists.
Sikeston made 19 assists for the game and had a season-low 12 turnovers.
Johnson believes that McCray can be a force down in the paint for Sikeston as the season progresses.
"Whitney can score and rebound like tonight in every game she plays," said Johnson. "If she moves her feet and hits the boards, she can be a difference-
Sikeston (8-4) will travel to Notre Dame on Thursday night for a key conference and district matchup. Tip is set for 6 p.m. in the junior varsity contest.