(Photos by Josh Mills, Staff)
PORTAGEVILLE -- "Wow." That was Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell's first reaction after Saturday's game against Sikeston.
"I tell you, today they were the best team that we've seen all year," he added. "They just did everything right."
Bidewell's initial thoughts followed the 91-52 loss that his home-team Bulldogs were handed from the visiting Sikeston Bulldogs Saturday afternoon.
Sikeston was definitely clicking on all cylinders, as they jumped out early to a 10-point lead, and after one quarter led 22-12.
The visiting Bulldogs would not be outdone however, as they outscored the home-team, 23-14 in the second quarter, en route to the 45-26 halftime lead.
After the intermission, Sikeston began to open up the floor, as they started raining down 3-pointers, as Matt Ritch hit three, and Sherwin Jones hit two of his own. Portageville tallied up their most points in a quarter with 18, but it was no match to Sikeston's 32, as they busted the score even more wide-
open at 77-44.
In the fourth quarter, Jones added his third 3-pointer, as he and Ritch combined for seven of Sikeston's eight total 3-pointers. Ritch finished with four 3-pointers and Dominique McCray added one.
"Coaches told me they've been running zone on them," said Bidewell. "They said they (Sikeston) haven't been shooting very well. I don't know what their percentage was, but it was high."
Sikeston shot 8-for-22 beyond the arc, and from the floor were 27-for-52, finishing up the afternoon with 47 percent overall.
Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield was pleased with his team's success and with how well they handled the ball.
The visiting Bulldogs finished up with just eight turnovers in the game.
"We came out with a lot of energy and shot the basketball well," said Holifield. "We had a lot of open looks, and were fortunate to knock down the shots. That always makes you look a whole lot better when you're hitting the shots."
Sikeston's offense was headlined for the second game in a row by senior Matt Ritch. Ritch finished up with 26 points, including four 3-pointers. Overall shooting on the afternoon, Ritch was 10-for-20 including the 3-point attempts.
"Matt (Ritch) was outstanding," said Holifield. "He's such a heady player, and if he gets open looks he's going to knock them down. He was hitting them tonight."
Ritch said that his teammates played extremely well and hit their open looks.
"We were all hitting tonight," said Ritch. "A lot of times when I shot, it was online. It felt good."
Trotter finished with 21 points for the Portageville squad, including three 3-
"Sikeston has a good inside-outside game," said Bidewell. "We made some mental mistakes early, but the better team won today. It was their game."
Despite the loss, Bidewell said he's not disappointed in his team.
"Our kids can't get too down," he added. "They're good kids, and they've been working hard. It was just a game that it was Sikeston's time to shine--
and they did it."
Sikeston had four other players in double-figures besides Ritch. Jones finished with 13, Juqualin Wiggins with 12, Michael Porter with 14 and Dominic Fondon with 10. Wiggins added 11 rebounds and nine assists, Washington added eight rebounds and three blocks, and Porter added six rebounds, six assists and two blocks.
Up next for Portageville is the Bootheel Conference Tournament, where they will square-off with Senath on Tuesday.
Sikeston is off until Friday, where they will welcome in Poplar Bluff for homecoming. The contest will be the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Bulldogs have won both games thus far.
Junior varsity will begin at 6 p.m. with varsity action to follow.
In junior varsity action, the Sikeston Bulldogs defeated the Portageville Bulldogs by a final score of 55-41.
Sikeston led by just eight points, 49-41, late in the fourth quarter, but pulled away to the 14 point victory as time was winding down.