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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

'Dogs dunk Dexter

Sunday, December 3, 2006

(Photo)
Sikeston's Michael Porter dunks the ball.
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs basketball team raced out to a quick start and never looked back in crushing the Dexter Bearcats 73-42 in a SEMO Conference game at the Field House on Friday night.

The Bulldogs only trailed after the first basket of the game and were never seriously threatened the rest of the night.

"I thought we had a lot of energy," said Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield. "We kind of got going there with some easy buckets right off the bat and built a lead. We're pleased to come out of here with a win."

Dexter (0-2, 0-2 SEMO Conference) simply had no answer for the Bulldogs' quickness and athleticism as Sikeston converted numerous turnovers into easy layups and dunks.

The Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 SEMO) forced Dexter into 21 turnovers on the night.

(Photo)
Sikeston's Joe Moore prepares to make a move to the basket.
"Honestly, their top nine or 10 guys are better than our starting five," said first-year Dexter coach Chris Trimmer. "They have a lot more athleticism right now. Plus, we're in a hostile environment -- the environment here is great, the student population was tremendous for Sikeston. What we have to learn is when we go in and play these teams to enjoy the game. Enjoy the environment and try to get better."

Sikeston bolted out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter forcing Trimmer to burn an early timeout.

The Bulldogs built the lead up to double figures at 19-8 following the first of sophomore Michael Porter's two slam dunks.

In the second quarter, Dexter got as close as 21-16 after a Derrick Chamberlain basket, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the night as Sikeston responded with a 10-0 run that essentially put the game away for good.

The Bulldogs managed to take a 38-21 lead into halftime.

"We just have to stay positive," said Trimmer, whose team lost its season-

opener 73-37 to Charleston on Tuesday. "We just have to work through the first part of this schedule. Right now we don't have anything easy -- everything is difficult for us. It's difficult for us because our guys are having to learn a whole new system. But they're trying and they're giving 100 percent effort out there."

In the third quarter, Dexter twice sliced the lead to 16 points, but Sikeston went on an 11-2 run highlighted by another Porter jam. The Bulldogs continued to push the lead to the end of the period, leading 62-34.

The mercy rule kept the clock running through much of the fourth quarter as substitutes closed out the game.

Sikeston senior Julian Beard led all scorers with 17 points and five rebounds. Porter finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two steals. Senior Ray Rodgers also cracked double figures with 10 points and five rebounds.

But Holifield was more impressed with the stats that don't go in the box score, in particular, charges drawn. Sikeston drew five charges in the game, two apiece by Matt Ritch and Brandon Washington and one by Blake Taylor.

"I like to see us taking those charges," said Holifield. "That's one of our goals every game, to take charges and we did a good job of that tonight. I thought Michael really played well.

"I thought Matt Ritch came off the bench and gave us some good minutes. Blake Taylor's intensity level was really good tonight. He had excellent ball-

pressure."

While the final score didn't show it, Trimmer said he saw improvements from his team.

"I thought that we actually played a little bit better tonight than we did Tuesday night," said Trimmer. "We tried something tonight that we didn't use Tuesday and that was our halfcourt trap."

Dexter's halfcourt trap actually caused Sikeston some problems as the Bulldogs had 16 turnovers.

"I really wasn't prepared for that," said Holifield of the trap. "They did a good job with it, but once we made a couple adjustments I thought we did a little better job handling it. We just haven't spent much time on that. Dexter was very aggressive with the trap and they got after it. I was impressed with their intensity. They're very scrappy. They're going to win some games because of their intensity, plus they shoot the basketball well."

But the Bearcats' inability to take care of the ball along with poor shooting nullified the effort.

"Shots aren't falling for us, but some of that can attributed to defense," said Trimmer. "Sometimes that real aggressive, in-your-face defense can get you a little bit rattled, and what would normally seem like an easy shot -- that little basket's as small as a thimble up there."

Dexter was led by Chamberlain's 15 points.

Holifield substituted freely throughout the game and saw several players get into the scoring column, including eight by senior Joe Moore off the bench.

Taylor and Isaac Porter each had four steals. Ritch had a team-high five assists.

"We had good, balanced scoring," said Holifield. "We shared the ball pretty well I thought. We missed some looks that we normally hit, but that happens sometimes. I think we were a little bit wired with it being the first home game."

Dexter could get a rematch with Sikeston in the SEMO Conference Tournament this week. The Bearcats, seeded ninth, will play No. 8 Caruthersville tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play top-

seeded Sikeston on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

The Sikeston J.V. team improved to 3-2 on the season with a 52-37 victory against the Bearcats.

Sikeston trailed 17-12 after one quarter, but took control from there, out-

scoring Dexter 31-13 in the middle two quarters. Sikeston led 26-21 at the half and 43-30 entering the fourth.

Sikeston was led by sophomore Dominic Fondon's 16 points.

Freshman Juqualin Wiggins had 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Freshman Eli Jackson had seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

"We really struggled in the first quarter, but I thought we played much better in the second half," said Sikeston junior varsity coach Brian James. "We had very little intensity early on and we were just turning the ball over carelessly. We took much better care of the basketball and I thought we rebounded better in the second half.

Dexter (0-2) was led by Drew Kelley's 11 points.