(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
The Bulldogs forced the Eagles into several turnovers throughout the first quarter, outscoring NMCC by 13 points to take a 20-7 lead.
Sikeston continued to capitalize off of turnovers in the second quarter, going into halftime with a 37-21 lead.
The Bulldogs would build their lead up to as much as 21 points in the third quarter. With 2:43 seconds left, Michael Porter converted on a 2-point basket to make it a 50-29 game. NMCC found themselves down by 16 points, 53-
37, with one more period left to play.
A 3-pointer by Kony Ealy capped off a 9-3 run by the Eagles to cut the lead to 10 points,56-46, at the 5:47 mark.
Despite the turnaround, that was as close as the Eagles would get.
In two-and-a-half minutes of play, the Bulldogs rattled off 10 consecutive points to go up again, by 20 points, 66-46, with around three minutes left to play.
The 10 point run by the Bulldogs, pretty much sealed the victory for the home team.
"I thought we played well early," Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield said. "We built a good lead and did some good things, offensively and defensively. In the second half, New Madrid picked their intensity up and it became a very physical type game. We were just happy to get out of there with a win."
The Bulldogs committed 18 turnovers during the game, with most of them coming from NMCC's run in the fourth.
"We had some careless turnovers tonight," Holifield said. "We have been better with the basketball the past few games, but tonight, we got a little careless with it. We were up 20 points or so for most of the game and I think we were relaxed instead of focusing more on what we needed to accomplish."
Sikeston also grabbed 28 rebounds and was 61 percent (30-49) from the field and went 7-12 from the free throw line. The Bulldogs only made one 3-
pointer (1-7), which was all of Sherwin Jones points.
Michael Porter led all scorers with 23 points. Porter recorded seven assists, six rebounds and six blocks. Juqualin Wiggins finished with 14 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds and made six assists. Matt Ritch added 13 points.
Eagles head coach Travis Day said that he felt his team gave everything they had, but starting slow hurt their chances of coming away with a win.
"The effort was there," Day said. "We just came out of the gates flat, and dug ourselves a big hole. When your going against a high caliber team like Sikeston you just can't do that. They took advantage of our mistakes in the first half, especially in the first quarter. When they get you down, they know how to keep you down."
The Bulldogs have won seven out of the last nine meetings between the two.
Kony Ealy led NMCC with 22 points and also hit two 3-pointers and was 2-2 from the free throw line. Bryan Waters scored 13 points.
This win by the Bulldogs, makes it the third consecutive season that they have won 20 or more games.
The Sikeston Bulldogs (20-3) will play host again tonight, against the Kennett Indians.
NMCC (11-10) will also be in action tonight, when they travel home to face the Portageville Bulldogs.
In junior varsity action, the Bulldogs went on to easily defeat the Eagles, 81-
Eli Jackson led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Daryl Howard chipped in with 12 points, while Corey Porter and Dewayne Harris each finished with 10 points.
Isaac Ray led the Eagles with 10 points.