(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- For the first half, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs made it a contest with the Dexter Lady Bearcats.
But when Dexter turned up the defensive pressure Sikeston began turning the ball over and the Lady Bearcats took advantage, cruising to a 61-29 win.
"The first quarter, I thought we were mentally in the game, we were aggressive and we were playing at their level," said Sikeston coach Homer Jackson.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed 19-12 at the end of the first quarter as Sikeston threw several passes over the Dexter full-court pressure that resulted in easy layups.
"The first half we definitely didn't do very well on our press," Allen said. "The second half we made a little adjustment and picked up man and forced (Sikeston's Monika Gray-El) to dribble up the court and make passes. I was pleased with how the girls came back that second half and played."
Dexter's adjustments seemed to work as the Lady Bearcats went on a 17-0 run to start the third quarter with many of the points coming on layups after turnovers.
"The thing that has been our achilles heel all season is turnovers that have led to our opponents shooting layups," Jackson said. "It's hard to recover when we lose it 20 feet from the basket. And when we inbound the basketball and lose it, they are only four feet away. The other team can get a lot of points in a hurry that way and we have to stop that."
Dexter (5-2) was led in scoring by Katelyn Heil's 21 points, including 10 of which came in a short span near the end of the first quarter.
Dexter's Ashlee Taylor chipped in 14 points.
Sikeston (1-4) was led by Amber Minner who finished with 13 points.
"That's what we expect from her as a senior leader," Jackson said. "For her to take charge on offense and play in spite of the score, I think she really gave a good effort."
Both Sikeston and Dexter will take part in the Lady Royals Christmas Classic in Twin Rivers that begins Saturday. Sikeston, the 11th seed, will take on Greenville at 5 p.m. Saturday.
"Hopefully we'll learn from this game and work on not turning the basketball over and not give up easy layups," Jackson said.
Dexter earned the top seed and will take on East Carter County Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
"Well, coming in as the number one seed you always have a target on your back and everybody is out to knock you off," Allen said. "We definitely have to show up and play our game." Junior varsity
The Dexter Lady Bearcats junior varsity team jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter and were never threatened again, defeating Sikeston 32-18.
Dexter was led in scoring by Kaitlyn Phillips' 16 points. Sikeston was led by Tasneem Ware's 8 points.