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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Season ends for Sikeston girls

Thursday, February 21, 2008

(Photo)
Sikeston's Amber Minner drives by a Fredericktown defender in the quarterfinals
(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
PERRYVILLE -- All year long the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs Aachilles' heel has been turnovers. Tuesday night, turnovers bit the Lady Bulldogs one last time in a 73-22 loss to Fredericktown in the quarterfinals of the Class 4, District 1 Tournament.

Sikeston turned the ball over 37 times, including 21 in the first half, giving Fredericktown numerous layups and easy shot opportunities.

"We had 20 plus turnovers and they shot 90 percent layups and it's hard to win that way," Sikeston coach Homer Jackson said. "Our passes were not crisp, which led to turnovers. It's easy to get up 10, 20 points like that when you are getting those kind of shots."

Despite the turnovers, Sikeston kept the game close in the first quarter, mainly behind the play of Monika Gray-El. The sophomore had six points and eight rebounds in the first quarter as the Lady Bulldogs trailed just 15-8 after one quarter.

However, Gray-El battled double-teams the entire night as Sikeston was unable to consistently get the ball inside.

"Monika, just her presence demands a double-team, and what we usually try to do is draw the defense to her and pass the ball back out," Jackson said. "We never got into that rhythm tonight because we never got the ball across half-court to her."

Gray-El finished the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Sikeston only had two other girls in the scoring column as senior Amber Minner, playing in her last game, had seven points and Frankasia Howard had two.

"Amber Minner has been the heart and soul of this team," Jackson said. "That's our leader. She's our best offensive player and the girls look to her to score. Whether she is doing good or bad she is still the heart and soul to our team."

Also playing their last game for the Lady Bulldogs was Lashawna Turner and Alonda Harris.

"Lashawna Turner is our best defensive player, so what we tried to do tonight was challenge her to get three or four steals and she came up with a couple but it just wasn't enough to offset the turnovers," Jackson said. Sikeston finishes the year 6-17 and Jackson said the team was improved from last season.

"This is my second year coaching and we've won more games so we've made progress," Jackson said. "What I hope the girls don't do is give up. There are a lot of levels we need to aspire to and hopefully this summer we will do some things in the gym and the girls will take on that challenge individually to get to make themselves better.

"And we will remember this kind of game and this type of score and when we go to practice it will be motivation for us to continue to get better."