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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Sikeston overcomes slow start to beat Cape Central

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sikeston's Michael Porter splits two Cape defenders.
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The Cape Central Tigers gave the Sikeston Bulldogs fits for a half of Friday night's SEMO Conference basketball game.

But the Bulldogs wasted no time in the second half coming to life and putting away the Tigers 59-44 to improve to 19-3 and 6-1 in conference.

"(Cape Central) did a great job in the first half," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "We didn't do a great job in the first half getting the ball where it needed to be. I thought the second half we did a much better job of pounding the ball, getting to where it needed to be."

The Tigers held a 15-14 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half and saw Sikeston score four unanswered points to close out the half. Then coming out of half, the Bulldogs rattled off 11 straight points, to pull ahead 29-17 and put Cape Central back on their heels.

"The second half they came out and hit some shots early, three or four in a row, and our guys got down a little bit," said Cape Central coach Drew Church. "That's their game. They go on streaks and they're a great team."

Sikeston's Brandon Washington shoots over Cape's Anthony Watts.
Michael Porter got the scoring started for Sikeston after the half with a basket, followed by a Sherwin Jones 3-pointer. Matt Ritch scored on a layup after another Porter basket and Brandon Washington capped the run off with a pair of free throws to give Sikeston the commanding lead.

"I put a major emphasis of coming out, being aggressive and getting the ball where it's supposed to be in the post area," Holifield said of his team's second half start. "We may not score down there, but once it's touched and kicked out it opens it up for Matt (Ritch) and Sherwin (Jones) and our guards to knock down shots. We've got to at least get the ball in a position in the post to catch, score, draw attention and then kick out."

Cape Central cut the lead to eight at 40-32 just before the end of the third quarter but that was as close as they would get. A Dominic Fondon basket with two seconds left in the third made the score 42-32 and Sikeston went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth, taking a 51-32 lead, putting the game out of reach.

"They just hit shots and basketball is a game of hitting shots," Church said. "They didn't hit their shots in the first half and they did in the second half. We didn't shoot as well as we normally do and in the game of basketball the key is making shots. When you make shots it makes the game easier and when you don't you have to find something else to help you succeed."

In the first half, Cape Central controlled the pace of the game, taking Sikeston out of their normal up-and-down brand of basketball, limiting Porter to just two points in the process.

"Porter is a great player and we tried to limit his touches a little bit," Church said. "We wanted to slow it down and make them beat us not from the inside but from the outside. We didn't want to give up penetration."

While the Tigers doubled down on Porter, sophomore Eli Jackson took advantage for the Bulldogs, scoring eight of the team's 10 points in the second quarter.

"He gave us a big lift," Holifield said of Jackson. "He's such an aggressive player and he's going to help us down the stretch."

As Cape Central tried to take Porter out of the game, Sikeston was able to take Cape Central's 3-point shooting out of the game as well by using good man-to-man defense.

"Usually we get a lot of shots from our four guards," Church said. "They did a good job of guarding the perimeter and when you penetrate they have Porter in there who is going to alter shots. They are a tough team to play against."

Brandon Washington led Sikeston with 18 points, 14 of those coming in the second half. Porter finished with 14 points to go along with his 10 rebounds and seven blocks. Ritch added 10 points while Juqualin Wiggins only scored two points but finished with eight rebounds and six assists.

Cape Central was led by senior Jajuan Bell who scored 17 points on the night.

Sikeston will be back in action Tuesday when they host New Madrid County Central. The Bulldogs will then take on Kennett Friday before they begin district play.

"We're playing pretty good," Holifield said. "We've got work to do and we've got to be more consistent at what we're doing offensively and defensively, but we're going to work and we're going to try to get there."

Sikeston also claimed a win in junior varsity play 63-37. Darryl Howard led Sikeston with 16 points while Niquavious Dixon added 12 points. Dwayne Harris finished with six points and 13 rebounds.