Sikeston had problems all night trying to contain Doniphan's 5-foot-6 guard Morgan Davis, who scored a game-high 29 points.
Davis scored 10 points in the first quarter and sparked the Donettes to a 12
-0 run to start the game. The Lady Bulldogs committed eight turnovers in the quarter, thanks in large part to a Doniphan 2-2-1 full-court press that seemed to rattle Sikeston early.
"I told the girls that Doniphan would come out in a press," said Sikeston head coach Fred Johnson. "We did not respond well to the pressure and just made silly mistakes."
Doniphan outscored Sikeston 21-14 in the first quarter and extended the lead to 45-35 by the half. The Donettes drained five 3-pointers in the first half, as Davis hit three 3's and had 16 points at the break.
Foul trouble hurt Sikeston early as 5-9 junior Latoya Gipson went to the bench midway through the second quarter with three personal fouls.
"I was worried coming into the game about our press," said Doniphan head coach Jimbo Blackwell. "Sikeston is a very athletic team and if they beat our press, they would get many lay-ups. Our kids played hard and aggressive tonight. I was proud of the way our kids came out and worked tonight."
Sikeston came out at half with a renewed intensity on the defensive end of the court. The Lady Bulldogs held Doniphan to just 10 points in the third quarter and cut down on their turnovers with just four in the quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs got to within 57-50 with seven minutes remaining in the game thanks to some clutch shooting from senior forward Allison Blurton, who drained a big 3-pointer to cut the lead to seven.
Doniphan iced the game from the line going 11-for-14 in the fourth quarter and walked away to the finals with a 78-60 victory over Sikeston.
"Right now, Doniphan is the better team without question," said Johnson. "They made fewer mistakes and ran their offense to perfection. We did not play hard enough to earn the win. The girls have to learn to play physical. We played well on Tuesday, but we have to learn to put good games in a row. We will be all right. Just putting in a new system and our day will come. We will not back down from anybody."
Chelsea Swindle scored nine points for the Donettes. Angela Rodgers scored eight points, had five rebounds and two assists. Melissa Kennon scored seven points and dished out six assists.
Doniphan committed 11 turnovers and had 24 rebounds (10 offensive).
Blurton scored 22 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Lady Bulldogs. Whitney McCray grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points off the bench. Martika Davis scored eight points, seven rebounds and had three blocks.
Gipson ended up with seven points and six rebounds for Sikeston. Paige Silverthorn had a good night off the bench with nine points, three assists and two rebounds.
Sikeston committed 24 turnovers in the game and pulled down 36 rebounds (14 offensive).
Doniphan (8-1) advances to the tournament finals and will meet Dexter at 7:
30 p.m. tonight.
Sikeston (5-4) will fight for third place against Naylor at 6 p.m. tonight.
The Dexter Lady Bearcats advanced to the finals of the tournament with a 45
-37 win over the Naylor Eagles.
Jessica Fowler and Taylor Nelson hit a 3-pointer apiece in the first quarter, as the Lady Bearcats raced out to a 10-3 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, Hailee Deckard, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, got going, scoring seven points in the quarter, to cut the Dexter lead to six at halftime, 21-15.
Dexter controlled the second half of action as 5-10 senior Taylor Nelson scored seven of her 16 points in the half. Not to be outdone for the Lady Bearcats, 5-10 sophomore Amanda Dooley, who is returning from a shoulder injury, scored nine of her 12 points in the second half to open the game up for Dexter.
Naylor could never get within striking distance of Dexter in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Bearcats chalked up a hard-fought 45-37 victory.
"A win is a win," said Dexter head coach Gavin Miller. "But I am disappointed because we did not play our game. Going into the game, our goal was to not double-team Deckard and just play her heads up. I coach to win, so I had to put the girls in a zone to try and stop the penetration. We need to get better on defense in time for districts. I am happy with the win and I think this is the first time a girls team at Dexter has started the season at 6-0."
In addition to her 16 points, Nelson grabbed 11 rebounds. Mallory Kennedy had a nice all-around game scoring seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Dexter received help on the boards from their guards as, Natalie Hayes and Molly Burleson each had five rebounds.
Dexter committed 11 turnovers and had 37 rebounds (15 offensive).
Deckard finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Miranda Sullivan, a 6-0 senior, scored eight points and pulled down six rebounds. Junior Valerie Stull secured seven rebounds off the bench for Naylor.
Naylor committed 19 turnovers in the game and had 26 rebounds (five offensive).
"I was pleased with the girls' effort tonight," said Naylor coach Gene Deckard. "We missed a lot of shots in the first quarter, which was the difference in the game. Dexter has a good team and you can't key on one player. I think Naylor showed everybody that we can play. We will learn from this defeat and it will only make us stronger for districts."
Dexter (6-0) will face Doniphan in the finals tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Naylor (4-2) will play Sikeston in the third place game tonight at 6 p.m.
The Kelly Lady Hawks fell to East Carter County 68-54, in a consolation game.
Kelly committed eight turnovers in the first quarter as East Carter jumped out to a 21-9 lead. Things got worse in the second quarter for Kelly, as freshmen Debra Hall picked up her third foul midway through the quarter.
Meaghan Carner, a 5-foot-8 senior, drained four 3-pointers in the first half as the Lady Redbirds built a 41-21 advantage heading into halftime.
In the third quarter, Kelly jumped back into the game on the strength of Hall's 12 points in the quarter. The Lady Hawks trailed 51-38 heading into the final quarter.
Kelly made a game of it, getting as close as 59-52 with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Kelly fans, their team would get no closer as East Carter put the game away with clutch free-throws. East Carter won 68-54 over Kelly.
Beth Johnson, a 5-10 senior forward, impressed the crowd scoring 27 points and had 12 rebounds for East Carter. Carner finished the game with 14 points. Stephanie Moeckli scored 10 points, grabbed three rebounds and led the team with seven assists. Junior Caitlyn Bowman scored six points, three rebounds and four assists.
East Carter had 29 rebounds (nine offensive) and committed 18 turnovers.
Kelly was led in scoring by Hall who scored 12 points and had nine rebounds. Katee Moore scored 11 points and Sarah Ruff had nine points and six rebounds. Kayla Cissell had eight points and four rebounds.
Brittany Ponder scored four points, two rebounds and five assists for the Lady Hawks. Mindy Robert chipped in with four points and six rebounds off the bench.
Kelly grabbed 39 rebounds (20 offensive) and committed 23 turnovers.
"We are a young team," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "We have to learn to value the basketball. Johnson from East Carter is strong and quick around the basket and was a tough matchup for us. We can't have our heads down, we have to go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for districts down the line."
East Carter (3-5) will face Portageville in the fifth place game today at 4:30 p.m.
Kelly (5-3) will have a short break and will next be in action at Sikeston on Jan. 5, to take on the Lady Bulldogs at 6 p.m.
The Portageville Lady Bulldogs advanced to the seventh place game in the tournament, with a 55-30 win over Neelyville.
Portageville jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to nine turnovers in the quarter by Neelyville.
Neelyville committed 20 turnovers in the first half and trailed 27-11 entering the half.
Portageville took advantage of 12 Neelyville turnovers in the third quarter and had a comfortable 41-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Neelyville committed 35 turnovers in the game and could not recover, as Portageville cruised to the 55-30 victory.
Junior Hannah Rone and sophomore Kellye Penn led Portageville in scoring with 17 and 19 points respectfully.
"Hannah penetrated well tonight and started to use her right hand more (Rone is left-handed)," said Portageville head coach Eric Ellerbrook. "Kellye played a solid game for us and was a force down in the paint. Our lone senior, Liza Wilson, stepped up for us tonight and did a good job."
Besides scoring 19 points, Penn led Portageville with seven rebounds and Rone dished out five assists and had three rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.
Wilson scored six points and had four rebounds.
Deanna Deere had five rebounds to go along with two points for Portageville.
Portageville as a team had 29 rebounds (14 offensive) and committed 27 turnovers.
Jennifer Hardin led Neelyville in scoring and rebounding with nine points and seven rebounds.
Portageville (8-3) will meet East Carter in the fifth place game at 4:30 p.m. today.