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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

SHS grounds Bluejays

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sikeston's Juqualin Wiggins drives around Charleston's Terrell Smith Friday night. Wiggins finished the game with 12 points in Sikeston's 70-61 win.
(Josh Mills, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Bluejays gave the Sikeston Bulldogs all that they could handle on Friday evening but in the end the Bulldogs pulled out of town with a 70-61 victory. The crowd, at full capacity before the first quarter was over in the junior varsity contest, saw an all-out battle for 32 minutes between the two rival schools.

"It's what I told our kids, 'Don't ever underestimate coming into Charleston and getting a win because there's so much pride and tradition here,'" said Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield after the victory. "As you saw tonight, their players put out maximum effort."

Charleston head coach Danny Farmer said that the Bluejays had two things on their agenda for Friday's game, to control the Bulldog rebounding and to control all-stater Michael Porter.

Sikeston's Michael Porter throws down a slam dunk in the second half of Friday night's game against Charleston.
(Josh Mills, Staff)
"I thought we did a good job on both," said Farmer on the execution of the two tasks. "Michael (Porter) is a great player. He has the will to win and he showed it right there in the end. We really needed to hit some buckets and Mike kind of took over and turned it on."

It took a few quarters until Porter 'took over' as Farmer stated. Leading up to the fourth quarter the game was at times smoothly played and at times sheer chaos.

The Bulldogs jumped on the home team early as they pounded out 20 points in the first quarter to Charleston's eight. The second quarter however, was a complete 180 for Sikeston as they couldn't manage a field goal until around two minutes left in the half. From there they regained composure and finished out the quarter on a high note, stringing together a few baskets before the half was brought to a close.

Charleston's Antonio Riggens brings the ball up the floor against Sikeston Friday night.
(Josh Mills, Staff)
In the second quarter the Bluejays outscored Sikeston 15-12, but at the break the Bulldogs led 32-23.

The third quarter was back-and-forth between the two clubs as the home team once again outscored their visitor, this time 19-18. The lead for Sikeston dwindled to eight points, 50-42 as the fourth quarter began play.

Despite their gutsy effort on both ends of the floor, the Bluejays could not manage to keep the Bulldogs off the glass when it was critical. Farmer gave credit to Porter for sealing the deal for Sikeston, and in the fourth Porter scored seven of his game-high 28 points to seal the deal for the visitors.

In the second half Porter nailed a key 3-pointer and got the red-and-black crowd back into the game with a huge dunk in front of the Bulldog bench. He scored 19 of his 28 total in the final two quarters.

"In the loss, I was still pleased," said Farmer. "We rebounded well. I was so concerned about rebounding and we rebounded well."

The Bluejays pulled down 44 rebounds in the defeat, 14 by the hands of Deonte Jones. Jones effort was 'the best he's rebounded the whole year' according to his head coach. He also led the Charleston squad in the scoring column with 19 points, including three 3-pointers.

Close behind Jones was Donald Dixon, who scored 17 points before fouling out late in the game. Chase McClendon added 10, including a 3-pointer.

"Tough," said Holifield of his opponent after the win. "They (Charleston) played great I thought. They had a lot of energy and effort. I thought at times we played well, just in the second quarter we didn't rebound at all. That was very surprising because we've been a very good rebounding team. We just didn't hit the boards like we normally do."

Sikeston pulled down 25 defensive rebounds and 14 offensive for a total of 39 in the game. Porter pulled down 16 and added four blocks to his 28 points.

Juqualin Wiggins scored 12 and added five rebounds and five assists while Eli Jackson had six points, six rebounds and five steals in the win. Will Holifield and Cal Lane each scored eight for the Bulldogs.

"You can't take anything away from Charleston," added Holifield. "Coach Farmer's done a great job. They're playing so hard."

The Bluejays, now 6-7 on the season, will see no depletion in their schedule as they welcome in the New Madrid County Central Eagles on Tuesday evening.

Sikeston, 9-2, will see their work load increase this coming week as well as they have three road games beginning with Monday's make-up game in Ste. Genevieve with the Dragons.