CARUTHERSVILLE -- The Sikeston Bulldogs improved to 6-2 on the season with an 88-79 win on the road against Caruthersville on Tuesday.
It was Sikeston's first game since Dec. 16 when they defeated Notre Dame on the road.
The Bulldogs never trailed in the game as they steadily pulled away each quarter.
Sikeston eventually led by as much as 84-58 with two minutes remaining, but the Tigers put together a frantic 3-point attack in the closing moments against the Bulldog reserves to make the score more respectable.
"We played real well at times," said Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield. "We built a huge lead and were up 26 points and Caruthersville hit some late 3-pointers to make it a lot closer game. I'm a little disappointed with the way we finished the game. This is a good win though at a tough place to play."
The win also improves the Bulldogs to 3-0 in the SEMO Conference. Caruthersville falls to 3-4 on the season and 0-2 in league play.
The Bulldogs once again had a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures led by senior guard Kash Bratcher's 17 points. He also had eight assists and three steals.
Freshman forward Michael Porter had a good all-around game, scoring 16 points (8-of-10 shooting), 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals.
"Michael had a good game and played well -- he's playing extremely well right now," said Holifield. "He's really a good player and he's going to get better and better with his work ethic and great attitude."
Ray Rogers and Isaac Porter each had 13 points and Rod Moore added 12 points.
Rogers had three steals while Isaac Porter also had five assists. Moore had four assists and three steals.
In all, 10 different players reached the scoring column.
"We had some good things happen," said Holifield. "We play as a team and we share the basketball well. I think we can get better in that area. Offensively we got some things done. We play fast and like to push the ball up the court. We scored a lot of baskets in the post tonight -- we had three post players in double figures."
Sikeston jumped out to a 26-15 first quarter lead and never looked back. They extended the lead to 50-34 by halftime.
Caruthersville was able to stay within striking distance in the third quarter, out-scoring the Bulldogs 20-16 in the period to cut the lead to 66-54.
But the Bulldogs put the game away very quickly in the fourth quarter, going on an 18-4 run to take an 84-58 lead.
Caruthersville's Jason Tate hit four 3-pointers in the final two minutes, including one from halfcourt as time expired. The barrage lifted his scoring total to a game-high 26 points. Rashad Fields had 22 points and Kendrickus Reed had 12 points.
The Tigers hit eight 3-pointers in the game, five of which came from Tate.
"We were sluggish at times -- it's the first time we've played in three weeks," said Holifield. "But it's a good win on the road against a conference opponent. They played hard and they out-rebounded us a little bit. They hurt us in some areas with their quickness. They're very athletic."
Sikeston will host Charleston on Friday at 6 p.m. Caruthersville will host New Madrid County Central on Friday.
The Sikeston J.V. team improved to 6-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference play with a 71-24 win against Caruthersville's jayvee (3-4, 0-2).
The Bulldogs were never threatened as Sikeston led 19-9 after one quarter and 42-18 at halftime.
They led 61-22 heading into the fourth quarter as the mercy rule kept the clocking running the rest of the way.
Sikeston was led by junior forward James Bonner's 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Brandon Washington scored 12 points with five rebounds.
Dominique McCray had nine points with eight assists and four steals. Freshman Richard Andrews had six points with six assists and two steals.
Stephen Jackson chipped in with eight points.
Ten different jayvee players scored for the Bulldogs.