All three games featured the running clock in the fourth quarters as top-
seeded Sikeston mauled No. 8 Caruthersville 81-39; No. 2 Charleston blitzed No. 7 New Madrid County Central 72-38; and third-seeded Notre Dame whipped No. 6 Cape Central 86-37.
There will be three consolation games today with No. 9 Dexter playing No. 10 Kennett at 5:30 p.m.; Caruthersville versus Poplar Bluff at 7 p.m.; and NMCC vs. Cape Central at 8:30 p.m.
The Tigers didn't get closer than nine the rest of the way as Sikeston steadily pulled away for the victory to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
The Bulldogs (2-1) will play fourth-seeded Jackson tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.
"Coach (Gregg) Holifield always puts a great team on the court," said Caruthersville coach Mack Skelton. "They're really disciplined, they get after it really hard and they do a great job out there. I've got to tip my hat to him any time, he's a great coach and he's got a great team. They're going to go far."
The Bulldogs opened up a double-digit lead in the second quarter and led 43-23 at the half.
Sikeston took a 61-34 lead into the fourth quarter and enforced the mercy rule from there.
Despite the final score, Holifield said there were many things his team didn't do well.
Defensively, even though we held them to 39 points, we were out of position and lunging," said Holifield. "We didn't have the energy that I felt we needed to have to be as good as we can be on defense.
"Also we didn't rebound very well. We were standing and we weren't blocking out. I thought we did a little better job in the second half, but we've got to block out, rebound and take care of business and we weren't doing that tonight."
Sikeston sophomore Michael Porter scored 20 points in the first half on his way to a season-high 27. He also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
His performance left Skelton impressed.
"Porter's a stud -- I guarantee you he'll give a lot of people fits," said Skelton. "We've got some smaller guys and they got after him pretty well. I was just glad he didn't have 50 on us tonight."
Senior guard Julian Beard added 16 points with four rebounds for the Bulldogs. Senior forward Ray Rodgers chipped in 15 points, four rebounds and two steals.
"I thought offensively we did a nice job -- we moved the basketball and shared the ball," said Holifield. "Michael played real well. The players did a great job of finding him. I thought as a team we played very unselfish tonight and that's the key to our success."
The Bulldogs had a season-low in turnovers with just 11. Sikeston was 32-
of-62 from the field (52 percent). Sikeston also drew three charges in the game.
Caruthersville (1-1) was led by Kendrickus Reed's 14 points. DeAndre Motton added 10 points.
The Bluejays jumped out to a 20-2 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Charleston rang up 26 points in the first quarter to lead 26-6 and led 43-20 at the half.
The lead was extended to 65-31 entering the fourth quarter to enforce the running clock.
"We played well the first quarter and most of the first half," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer. "In the second half I guess it was hard to get up. I didn't think we played very well in the second half.
"Sometimes it's hard to get up because our kids saw them lose to Pine Bluff in the Riverbend, and then we beat Pine Bluff. I know what's going on in the kids' minds, it's hard to get them up for the game. I'm happy to get past this one."
Other than a few careless turnovers, the Charleston offense appeared to be running on all cylinders led by seniors Justin Clark and Shawn Sherrell, both of whom consistently hit jumpers with defenders in their face.
"They might look difficult, but they're not difficult for them -- they make them all the time," said Farmer. "Sherrell and Clark are good ball players and they can hit their shots."
Clark led the way with 18 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Sherrell scored 15 points with eight assists and five steals.
Junior forward Brian Parham had 12 points. Senior Jerrell Quinn had eight points and a team-high six rebounds.
"We came out the gates slow and not much effort," said NMCC coach Travis Day. "Charleston is a very good offensive team. They'll have five guys out there that can flat-out score. We didn't guard like we're taught to guard and we gave up easy baskets.
"It's hard to defend them when they make those tough shots. We tell the guys to just get a hand in their face and only give them one shot. They did hit some big shots on us, but I felt we gave them more easy ones than we did contested shots."
NMCC (1-3) had no players reach double figures. Leslie Williams led the way with seven points.
Charleston's quickness caused numerous Eagle turnovers.
"That's what we were hoping, that our quickness would give them problems," said Farmer. "I take my hat off to New Madrid by the end of the season -- they're in our district -- and they're going to hard to deal with."
Charleston (4-0) will play Notre Dame in a semifinal game tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Notre Dame (4-0) put on an offensive show as they rolled up a 29-12 first quarter lead and a 57-18 halftime lead over the Tigers (1-2).
The Bulldogs had four players reach double figures led by 6-foot-7 junior Ryan Willen's 24 points. Junior guard Ty Williams had 18 points, including three 3-pointers.
Sophomore Austin Greer had 12 points and sophomore John Unterreiner had 10 points.
Cape Central was led by George Hamilton's seven points.