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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

SHS wins double OT thriller

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Sikeston's Ray Rogers goes up for a shot.
SIKESTON -- Before the season started, Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield hinted that this year's team may play at a more frantic, up-tempo pace.

If Monday's game against Osceola (Ark.) shows anything, at the least, that kind of style will be entertaining to watch.

Sikeston overcame the Seminoles' late 3-point barrage to pull out a wild 99

-89 double overtime victory in the first round of the 34th Annual Sikeston Invitational Tournament.

It's the most points Sikeston has scored under Holifield when he became head coach in 1998 and it's the most points the team has scored since 1995.

"We're going to play fast-paced and up-tempo," said Holifield. "We put 99 points on the board tonight and that's how we're going to play. That's this team's style. It's a little different style than I've played the past few years here, but I feel like this team can handle that fast pace."

Osceola was happy to oblige with the up-tempo game.

"That's how we play -- we're going to run the floor 94 feet the whole time," said coach Frankie Gathen.

The Bulldogs (2-1) appeared to be in great shape as the fourth quarter was winding down, holding a 64-55 lead.

But the Seminoles caught fire from beyond the arc, hitting four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including Charles Chalk's game-tying trey with 10 seconds remaining.

Sikeston's Kash Bratcher was able to get a good look on a bank shot from 12 feet out but it rimmed out just before the clock expired, sending the game into overtime tied at 70-70.

In the first four-minute overtime, it looked like Sikeston was in total control once again, leading 82-78 with less than 30 seconds remaining.

But Osceola's Jimmon Caruthers scored with 12 seconds left to cut it to 82

-80. Then they fouled Rod Moore, who made 1-of-2 free throws to make it 83-80 with nine seconds left.

Sikeston called timeout and had two fouls to give, but Caruthers split the Bulldog defense and canned a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into double overtime.

"We were going to foul at the end of the first overtime and we didn't execute it," said Holifield. "That's something we'll learn from with more practice time."

The Bulldogs never trailed in the second overtime. Moore came up with the biggest play as he stole the ball, and converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to give Sikeston a 90-85 lead with 2:35 left.

Osceola never got closer than four points the rest of the way.

The Seminoles didn't hit any 3-pointers in the first three quarters, but hit six in the fourth quarter and overtime periods.

As far as the two game-tying buzzer-beaters, Gathen felt his team was being watched over by a higher power.

"Those were luck -- luck and praying. That's all it was," said Gathen. "But my kids had guts enough to take those shots. You can draw up things on the board, but if the kids don't have the courage to take those shots, then X's and O's aren't any good."

The Bulldogs continued a trend of scoring balance, with five different players cracking double figures and 10 different players scoring.

"We had five players in double figures and you're going to win games when you do that," said Holifield. "We took some bad shots, but I think we were unselfish. We just need more practice time to get that corrected. It's kind of hard to do right now because we're playing every night."

Junior guard Julian Beard led the way for the Bulldogs with 19 points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime periods. He also had seven rebounds and four assists.

Moore scored 18 points with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Bratcher had 14 points, eight assists and three steals.

Freshman Michael Porter, in his first varsity start, scored 14 points with three assists, three blocked shots and four steals.

His older brother, junior Isaac Porter, had 13 points with seven rebounds and four assists.

Osceola's Caruthers and the 6-foot-6 Lonnie Dabney scored 26 and 25 points, respectively.

Danny McNeal followed up with 13 points.

The Seminoles fall to 0-5 on the season, but have only been practicing with a full squad for a week after its football team made it to the state playoffs.

"Once we get in better condition we're going to be a pretty tough team," said Gathen. "I think if we don't turn the ball over at crucial times and do a better job on the boards, then we probably win the ballgame. Sikeston also made some big shots and made some big plays down the stretch."

Sikeston looked lethargic at the start of the game as the Seminoles consistently beat the Bulldogs down the floor for easy baskets.

"In the first half we were really sluggish and we didn't have the energy level that we had in our first two games," said Holifield. "We were not getting back on defense, we were out of position and we had careless turnovers. But in the second half we played better and made better decisions. I don't know if people realize how quick they are and how fast they are. That created a lot of problems for us because they were just as quick as we were. We're not quite used to seeing that."

But the Bulldogs adjusted quickly as the two teams ended up tied at 22-22 after one quarter. Sikeston led 38-35 at halftime but the Seminoles eventually took a 52-51 lead heading into the third quarter.

A Bratcher 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter got things going as the Bulldogs went on a 13-3 run to open the period.

"I think this is a good learning experience, to play in a tight game like this," said Holifield.

Sikeston will play Charleston tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the second game of Pool 1.

Also scheduled tonight is New Madrid County Central against Lyon County (Ky.), who were blown out 83-16 by Blytheville on Monday in Pool 2 action.

Lyon County was out-matched before the game tipped off as they dressed four sophomores, three freshmen and two eighth graders, all of which saw extensive playing time against the talented Chickasaws.

Blytheville ran out to a 23-2 first quarter lead and led 46-5 at halftime.

Cal Rose led Blytheville with 17 points followed up by Chris Echols with 15 and Shontrell Johnson with 13.

Blytheville will play NMCC on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Osceola will play Charleston on Thursday at 6 p.m.