CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs put a disappointing regular season behind them with a 61-31 SEMO Conference loss to the Cape Central Lady Tigers on Monday.
The Lady Bulldogs (4-17, 3-7 in conference) enter the MSHSAA Class 4, District 1 playoffs as the bottom seed (No. 6) hosting No. 3 Dexter at the Sikeston Field House next Monday.
Sikeston fell behind 19-5 after the first quarter, then outscored the Tigers 10-8 in the second quarter to cut the lead slightly to 27-15 at the half.
The Bulldogs' full-court pressure proved fairly effective, primarily against Cape Central reserves, in the second period.
"Our guards, LaShawna (Turner) and Andrea (Coleman), do a really good job up front and that makes it easy for the people in the backcourt to read the pass," said Sikeston coach Homer Jackson. "That (press) is something that we'll do more of next year."
Monika Gray-el, the Bulldogs' 6-foot-2 freshman post, also had a hand in the improved second-quarter performance with five of her total seven blocked shots.
"Monika plays within herself and she can make you take a tough shot," said Jackson. "She'll be the cornerstone of our defense next season."
Latoya Gipson, the Bulldogs' leading scorer and lone senior, provided the offensive impetus with eight of her game-high 13 points in the second period.
A sluggish start with four straight turnovers to open the second half increased the Sikeston deficit to 18 at 39-21.
Cape Central, with a deeper and more productive bench, then turned it up in the fourth quarter with 22 points to 10 for the tired Bulldogs.
The Tigers' bench outscored the Bulldogs 23-4.
Sikeston held its own on the backboards with 24 rebounds to 30 for Cape Central and committed four more turnovers (17-13) than the Tigers.
Keyarra Blissett was the scoring runner-up for the Bulldogs with seven points.
Kristin Shirrell topped the Tigers with 12 points.
Jackson, in his first year at the helm of the Lady Bulldogs, is confident the team is capable of turning it around next season.
"We're trying to take the bright spots from this year and improve on the things we didn't do so well as far as turning the basketball over and getting easy shots," he said. "We've got some blocks to build on. Now we've got to work on individual skills during the summer to get better."
Sikeston lost 40-15 in the junior varsity game.
The Sikeston-Dexter district game tips off at 7:30 p.m.
PERRYVILLE -- The Oran Lady Eagles nipped St. Vincent on the road on Monday night, defeating the Squaws 48-46 in non-conference action.
Oran trailed 13-9 after one quarter and 27-22 at the half, but the Lady Eagles (14-8) outscored St. Vincent 26-19 in the second half to pull out the victory.
Erica Michelsen and Tiffany Glastetter carried the scoring load, with 20 points apiece.
Oran will host Scott City on Thursday at 6 p.m.
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Notre Dame fell behind 19-9 to Nerinx Hall at the end of the first quarter and never recovered on senior night at Notre Dame.
Kristain Burger led the Bulldogs (17-8) with a game high 22 points.
Emily Brumitt and Meridith Medlin each netted seven points.