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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

'Dogs roll to victory

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Sikeston's Kash Bratcher looks to pass around an airborne Dexter defender.
DEXTER -- It's been a long time since the Sikeston Bulldogs won a game at Dexter High School.

But the Bulldogs broke the drought in a big way on Friday night as they ran away with a 72-51 win against the Bearcats. It's Sikeston's first win at Dexter since January of 1997, snapping a three-game losing streak.

With the score tied 26-26 at halftime, the Bulldogs exploded in the second half to cruise to a comfortable victory.

Sikeston's depth and defensive intensity were the keys to a 26-9 third quarter run.

The Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 SEMO Conference) got plenty of balance in the scoring column, with 10 different players chipping in.

Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield talks to his bench.
"We're going to play 10 or 11 people and get people in and out as much as we can," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "Our goal and objective is to wear teams down. I thought we did a little bit against Blytheville (a 71-63 loss) and maybe that happened a little bit tonight. It's a great atmosphere and they always play extremely well here. They shoot the ball well. They've had some great teams. That's been another part of it the past seven or eight years. When you come in here you know it's going to be a tough game and their players always step up to the occasion."

Senior point guard Kash Bratcher had a solid all-around game, scoring 19 points with six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Seventeen of his points came in the second and third quarters.

"(Bratcher) forced some shots, and I know some of them look like crazy shots but we've all seen him get on a roll and it sometimes it seems like he's better from 24 feet than he is from 18 or 19 feet," said Holifield. "Sometimes it looks like bad shot selection, but if he's open he feels very confident in himself."

Junior guard Julian Beard followed up with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Senior Rod Moore had 10 points and six rebounds.

But the Bulldogs got some of their biggest minutes out of 6-foot-3 freshman forward Michael Porter, who scored eight points and blocked five shots in two quarters of action.

"He's very composed," said Holifield of Porter. "He understands the vertical rule defensively where he goes straight up and normally he gets a blocked shot because he's not hacking and slapping. He's just a smart player, especially for a freshman."

Many of Porter's blocks led to transition baskets for the Bulldogs as they consistently beat the Bearcats down the floor.

"I don't think our kids are in very good shape yet," said Dexter coach Eric Sitze. "We haven't had a lot of practice time with them going late in football. It looked like they just got tired and started turning the ball over. I think Sikeston played extremely hard. They get after you the whole game. They don't let up at all."

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 11-6 lead only to see Dexter trim the lead to 13-11 at the end of one.

Dexter hung tough in the second quarter as they held a two-point lead on a couple different occasions, but the score eventually ended up tied at 26-26.

"I thought we were lucky to hang around with Charleston the first night," said Sitze. "They were doing some things that helped us stay in the game. I thought tonight we battled for it and worked for it."

But that's when Sikeston took control of the game.

After the Bearcats cut Sikeston's lead to 34-33, the Bulldogs went on a 16-0 run to blow the game open.

"The third quarter has killed us in both games," said Sitze, also referring to the Bearcats' 80-49 loss to Charleston. "We came out flat in the third quarter. A lot of teams win games in the third quarter. We improved from our first game. We're going to have to out-work people because we're not a great basketball team. We don't have a lot of speed, we don't have a lot of size. We just have to try to out-work people and stay in games longer."

The Bulldogs led 52-35 entering the fourth quarter and they led by as much 68-44 in the final minutes.

Robbie Howard came off the bench to grab nine rebounds with four steals and two assists.

Dexter (0-2, 0-2 SEMO Conference) was led by Drew Satterfield's 14 points and Cole Smith's 11 points.

Sikeston will open the Sikeston Invitational Tournament with a first round game against Charleston on Monday at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs will also play on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against Osceola, Ark.

Sikeston's junior varsity team improved to 4-1 on the season with a 57-50 victory against Dexter (0-2).

Sikeston led 11-6 after one quarter and 24-18 at halftime. They still managed a 38-35 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Sikeston was led by Brandon Washington's season-high 20 points on 10-of

-16 shooting with five rebounds and three steals.

Michael Porter followed up with 15 points (7-11 shooting) and three blocked shots in two quarters of action.

Dominique McCray added nine points with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.