(Photo by Andrew Powell, Staff)
SIKESTON -- After pulling off a 53-38 victory over Chaffee Monday, the Sikeston girls basketball team tried to make it two in-a-row Thursday night when they hosted Poplar Bluff. However, the Lady Mules proved to be too much, coming away with a 65-21 win.
It wasn't quite the outcome the Lady Bulldogs had hoped for as they seemed to take a step back from their performance earlier in the week.
"We learned from the Chaffee game that girls who don't turn the ball over put themselves in a better position to win," said Sikeston head coach Homer Jackson.
However, Sikeston managed to take themselves out of that position, falling into some old habits from early in the season with 26 turnovers on the night, mostly unforced.
Pretty quick indeed as the Lady Bulldogs turnover problem helped spark several Poplar Bluff runs preventing the home team from ever settling in.
Stefanie Ferguson got the action under way for the visiting team, hitting a 3-
pointer to spark an 8-0 run which she later capped off by another two point basket. This eight-point rally would be the key for the Lady Mules to set up an eight point advantage, 14-6, heading towards the start of the second quarter.
The visiting team would then increase their lead to 25-6 in the second until senior guard Amber Minner connected for two points to end the 11-0 run. It was Poplar Bluffs' ability to find the open player in the lane that can be attributed to this rally.
"I thought they're screen away from the basketball and the girl coming to the basketball was run very well," said Jackson. "Along with that, they had the three D's. They drive, they draw, and they dish. We haven't had to play a team that plays that style of basketball yet and they play it very well."
The Lady Mules went on to extend their lead to 31-13 as they headed into the locker room at halftime up 18.
It was more of the same in the second half as Poplar Bluff started the third quarter similar to the start of the game with a 9-0 sprint. The Lady Mules didn't let up however, as they continued to push their lead to 53-17 going into the final period. The Bulldogs were outscored 22-4 in the third and this would be all the Lady Mules would need as they cruised to a 65-21 final.
"I thought we came out the second half and played with a little more intensity," said Poplar Bluff head coach Kirk Chronister. "We knew we couldn't come out and play without the intensity level that we've been playing with the past few games."
Sikeston was lead by 6-1 sophomore Monika Gray'El with 10 points while Poplar Bluff was lead by Tori Williams with 15.
"She had a good game," Chronister said of Williams. "I talked to her about not putting the ball in the hole and I think the first three opportunities she stuck it in there and I was glad to see that."
Jasmine Sumrall also chipped in with 11 points for the visiting team.
Although the Lady Bulldogs suffered the tough loss, Jackson is confident his team can get back in the win column.
"We came up short tonight but I have liked the way we've been practicing lately," said Jackson. "We'll have to lick our wounds but I believe we'll bounce back."
Sikeston (3-10) will try and do so Monday night when they travel to Kennett to take on the Lady Indians. Tip off will be tossed at 6 p.m.
In junior varsity action, the Lady Bulldogs had a similar outcome, falling to the Lady Mules 63-15.