3-point shot and aggressive defense leads to big victory
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs butted heads with the Scott City Rams Friday night, but when the final buzzer sounded it was Sikeston who stood triumphant with a 63-36 victory.
Last season was a different story when these two teams squared off with the Rams pulling an upset at home over the Bulldogs 68-61.
"We didn't play very well there last year and our players do remember that," said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield. "We got a couple players back from last year's team and our young kids saw it too."
Determined not to let history repeat itself, Holifield had that thought on his team's mind as they came out focused and ready to go.
Cal Lane, a 6-3 junior, got the action started for the Bulldogs when he connected on a 3-pointer to put his team up 3-1 in the early going. However, Scott City battled back, eventually tying the game at 9-9 on a Jay Simmons 3-
pointer with 1:40 left to play in the first quarter.
This would be the last time the Rams would be in shouting distance for the lead as Sikeston turned up the volume on both sides of the ball, going on a 10-0 run to close out the first period.
"I thought we came down, rushed shots and didn't have a real good shot selection in the early going," said Holifield. "Once we settled in and became patient, things picked up and we kind of got the things we wanted.
"Overall we came out with good intensity and our defensive effort was good."
A solid defense and the hot hands of Lane and 6-0 senior Sherwin Jones can be attributed for this late first quarter spurt with each connecting from behind the arc.
"They are both good shooters," said Holifield of Lane and Jones. "If they get an open look, I am very confident with those guys shooting the basketball."
Unfortunately for the Rams, Sikeston's run was far from over as the start of the second quarter brought the Bulldog rally with it. With 4:23 left in the half, Simmons finally managed to put an end to a 21-0 run by the home team with another 3-pointer of his own.
But it was quickly overshadowed when Jones answered back with his third 3-
pointer of the night, eventually taking his team into the locker room at halftime leading 37-17.
"My teammates did a good job of finding me open," said Jones. "It feels good though, we came out and played hard as a team. Everybody stepped up and really just had a good all around game."
The second half started out similar to the first for the Bulldogs as Lane knocked down another 3-pointer to start the Bulldogs. Controlling the tempo, Sikeston steadily went on to out score Scott City 15-10 in the third quarter, beginning the final period with a 25 point advantage, up 52-27.
The fourth quarter followed the Bulldog trend set early on in the game when a sizable lead cleared the benches for both sides as the home team rolled to the final 63-36.
Sikeston cruised on outstanding shooting from behind the arc, nailing 8-15 (53 percent).
"When they do that, there's just not a lot of teams going to beat them," said Scott City coach Lance Amick. "You've got to commend them."
Jones was 5-7 from the 3-point line for the Bulldogs while collecting 17 points and six assist. Lane contributed with 3-5 shooting from the 3-point line to go along with his 13.
All-stater Michael Porter, quietly chipped in 13 points on the offensive end but was a force on the defensive side of the ball with seven rebounds, seven blocks, and three steals. Scott City managed only eight total points inside the paint for the game.
Sikeston had 28 total team rebounds and a season-low five turnovers on the night.
The Rams were led by Simmons who had 11 points with three 3-pointers while Alex King added nine points respectively.
"I think us beating them last year apparently left a bad taste in their mouth," Amick said. "Coach Holifield does a great job and I think really tonight he had his kids extra ready to play."
The Bulldogs (12-2) will be back in action Tuesday night when they host the Farmington Knights. Tip off will be tossed at 6 p.m.
In junior varsity action, Sikeston came away with similar results beating Scott City 69-21.
The Bulldogs owned the boards with 41 total rebounds, 32 offensively as second shot attempts came often.
Niquavious Dixon lead the way with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals while Will Holifield got in on the action with 11. Alex Clark also had a good game coming away with nine points to contribute to the win.