The Bearcats recorded a mild upset over the No. 8 seed Hayti Indians, 71-41. The No. 12 seeded Van Buren Bulldogs rallied to defeat the No. 5 seed East Prairie Eagles, 77-74, in the closest game of the day.
The rest of the top-seeded teams in the field rolled into the second round with convincing wins. Top-seed Malden defeated No. 16 Richland, 91-38 in the first game of the day.
No. 2 seed Doniphan Dons defeated No. 15 East Carter County 83-29; No. 3 Portageville dispatched No. 14 Bloomfield 61-37; and No. 4 Puxico took down Twin Rivers 78-52.
South Pemiscot earned the sixth seed and got past No. 11 seed Kennett Indians 82-56; while No. 7 seed Bernie Mules eased past Greenville 70-29.
Quarterfinal games in the tourney will begin on Wednesday afternoon. Malden takes on Dexter at 4 p.m., Van Buren battles Puxico at 5:30 p.m., Portageville will face South Pemiscot at 7 p.m. and Bernie will meet Doniphan at 8:30 p.m.
The Portageville Bulldogs used the momentum from a big second quarter to advance past the Bloomfield Wildcats, 61-37.
The Wildcats led 10-8 after one quarter of action, but managed only four points in the second and committed seven turnovers in the quarter.
Portageville ended the second quarter on a 18-2 run and led 27-14 at halftime.
"Bloomfield hustled and was a very scrappy team today," said Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell.
"I thought we came out a little flat in the first quarter. I gave the guys three days off for Christmas and I probably shouldn't have done that."
Bloomfield cut into the Bulldog lead in the fourth quarter and trailed 45-32 with five minutes to play in the game. Portageville responded with a 12-2 run to ice the game and led 57-34 with 3:35 to play.
Portageville allowed only 15 points, while scoring 37 points in the second and third quarters. The Bulldogs played solid man-to-man defense and forced Bloomfield to commit 14 turnovers in the same quarters.
"We tried a trap zone early on in the game and it didn't work," said Bidewell. "We went to a man defense to eliminate any excuses for allowing an open lay-up."
Despite having a distinct height advantage, Portageville struggled to control the boards against Bloomfield.
In total, the Bulldogs out-rebounded the Wildcats 33-31, but Bloomfield won the battle of the offensive boards, 14-13.
"We played okay today," said Bidewell, "but we didn't control the boards like I would like. We didn't take advantage of our height and let them stay in the game by getting too many second chance opportunities."
Senior Marcus Greene led the Bulldogs with 14 points and tied for the team lead with four assists.
Freshman Kony Ealy came off the bench for Portageville and had 10 points and 12 rebounds (eight offensive).
Mikey Johnson had a solid game at point guard for the Bulldogs with nine points, four assists and grabbed three rebounds.
Senior Trey Mosby ended his night with seven points, four rebounds, four assists and led the team with three steals.
Junior Kyle Williamson led Bloomfield with 16 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
Kurt Dumey, a 6-5 senior, scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds (four offensive). David Clary was second on the Wildcats with eight rebounds.
Portageville (6-0) will face the South Pemiscot Bulldogs in the second round at 7 p.m.
The East Prairie Eagles blew a big halftime lead to the Van Buren Bulldogs and lost 77-74.
The Eagles led 44-31 at halftime thanks in large part to guard Randy Woods and forward Tony Jones.
Woods scored 11 points in the first quarter as the Eagles quickly gained the advantage with a 12-2 run in the quarter.
In the second quarter, Jones had 12 points and the Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 23-16 in the quarter and raced out to the 13-point lead at the break.
"East Prairie is talented and a very athletic team," said Paul Lynch.
"The Jones kid was beating us inside in the first half and we had to regroup at the half and make some changes."
Van Buren did indeed make some changes at the break and outscored East Prairie 46-30 in the second half.
The Bulldogs got going in the third quarter by hitting four 3-pointers and limiting the Eagles to one shot on the defensive end.
In the contest, Van Buren out-rebounded East Prairie 36-27.
"We have been struggling on the boards as of late," said Lynch. "Our kids have tremendous hearts and dug deep after halftime. We are a young and inexperienced team, but the kids stepped up tonight and didn't quit after getting down early."
The Eagles got away from what was working in the first half and that was the post play of Jones.
After scoring 18 points in the first half, Jones was limited to four points in the entire second half.
"I thought our shot selection was terrible in the second half," said East Prairie head coach Matt Schonhoff.
"We didn't get the ball inside and we just settled for 3's late in the game."
Van Buren got solid play from the bench as they outscored East Prairie's bench 28-5 in the contest.
"It was a total team effort tonight," said Lynch. "We showed confidence in the face of adversity and played our best game of the year."
The Eagles cut the deficit to 77-74 with two seconds to play in the fourth quarter on a Jones offensive rebound and putback. However, the Bulldogs ran out the clock after East Prairie failed to foul before the buzzer.
"Van Buren did a good job in the second half of taking away our transition game," said Schonhoff.
"They had a person back and we did a poor job of executing our half-court set. We committed too many turnovers and missed our post players down low."
Kurtis Burke paced the Bulldogs with 21 points, hitting three 3's and grabbed six rebounds.
Sophomore Tyler Freeze had 14 points off the bench, including two big 3-
pointers in the third quarter.
Matt Crafton had 11 points and six rebounds (all offensive) for Van Buren. Junior Jackson Heiberg chipped in 10 points and had seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs hit seven 3-pointers in the game and had 12 offensive rebounds as a team.
"The guys played a great game tonight," said Lynch. "We have come a long way since the start of the year. We were 0-for-15 in our first game from the 3-point line."
Jones led East Prairie with 22 points and 17 rebounds (eight offensive). Woods finished with 21 points and Tyler Branam had 12 points and five rebounds for the Eagles.
Paris Tipler had nine points in the fourth quarter and ended his night with 11 points, four steals and three assists.
M.C. Williams led the Eagles with eight assists and had four steals.
East Prairie had 12 steals as a team, but committed 15 turnovers in the contest.
Van Buren (4-4) will meet Puxico in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m.
East Prairie (5-3) moves over to the consolation side of the bracket and will face Twin Rivers at 9:30 a.m.
The Doniphan Dons eased past the East Carter County Redbirds 83-24.
The Dons did not allow the Redbirds to score in the first quarter and led 49-13 at halftime.
East Carter County scored only eight field goals in the entire contest, while Doniphan hit seven 3's in the game.
Doniphan had five players score in double-digits led by Chandler Wilson with 15 points. Issac Ballow chipped in 11 points, while Tyler Collins, Mitch Granier and Lance Majors each had 10 points.
Doniphan will face Bernie at 8:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
The Malden Green Wave overwhelmed the Richland Rebels in the first and rolled to the first round win.
Even without the services of three players due to missing practice, the Green Wave outscored Richland 26-9 in the second quarter and led 47-20 at the half.
Alonzo Louis led Malden with 17 points and Antonio Eddings poured in 16 points.
Quentin Franks had 14 points in the paint, while Ryan Criglar and Leonard Burton had 12 and 10 points respectively for the Wave.
Drew Thornton was the only player for Richland to reach double figures with 10 points. Cameron Whittaker chipped in with nine points and Nick Harris contributed seven points.
Malden will battle Dexter in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m.
Richland (2-4) faces Hayti in a 2 p.m. consolation game.
The South Pemiscot Bulldogs used a big fourth quarter to put away the Kennett Indians.
The Bulldogs outscored the Indians 24-7 and made a relatively close into a 82-56 romp.
Felix Spates, Maurichio Clay and Bruce Smith paced the South Pemiscot offensive attack with 14 points apiece.
Zach Clay and and Anthony Kinnon chipped in 13 and 12 points respectively.
The Bernie Mules raced out to a big lead in the first quarter against the Greenville Bears and never looked back.
Bernie outscored Greenville 31-5 in the first quarter and led 45-12 at the break. The Mules put the icing on the first round win with a 23-8 third quarter outburst.
Bernie had four players reach double-digits led by 6-4 forward Marcus Massey with 19 points. Silas Dill had 12 points, while Jevan Pierce and Zach Curry had 11 and 10 points respectively for Bernie.
John Becker led the Bears with 10 points.
The Dexter Bearcats raced out to a big first half lead and were never challenged by the Hayti Indians.
The Bearcats jumped on the Indians quickly in the first quarter with a 22-4 lead.
Dexter led 40-14 at halftime and cruised the rest of the way.
Tyler Scott and Eric Windham led a balanced scoring attack for the Bearcats with 10 points apiece. Dexter had 11 players scratch the scorebook.
Michael Vaughn led Hayti with 15 points.
Dexter (2-5) will face Malden in a the first quarterfinal game on Wednesday at 4 p.m.