The Bulldogs had to once again play on the road with out their three-time all-stater Michael Porter. Porter remained on the bench Friday in what coaching and medical staff call a precautionary measure.
However, in Porter's absence, three Sikeston players stepped up to shoulder the weight of the Sikeston offensive attack, which averages 71.2 points per game.
Several other Bulldogs made important contributions to Friday's 44-point win. Will Holifield was 3-7 from three point range for nine points. Point guard Juqualin Wiggins, although not scoring in the game, provided 10 assists, nine rebounds and four steals. Niquavious Dixon notched 11 points, three assists, four rebounds and three steals of his own.
Every member of the Sikeston squad felt they played good 'team' basketball Friday.
"I feel that we all played as a team tonight and that had a big impact," Lane said.
"I think that everyone stepped up big tonight," Jackson said. "We lost them last time we have come up here. Everyone is really starting to step up for us."
Jackson said that the team showed they can still get things done with Porter resting on the bench.
"With Michael (Porter) out, some people may not expect us to come out and do the same things," Jackson said. "We know without Michael (Porter) down there in the post that we aren't very big. We have known that all week and prepared for it. It is different game without Michael, but everyone has stepped up to fill that void these last couple of games."
Bulldogs (12-2) head coach Gregg Holifield felt his team had great energy and effort in Friday's win.
"I thought we played well tonight," Holifield said. "We missed some easy shots early on but, overall our energy and effort was good. We put some pressure on them and were able to force some turnovers. It was one of those games where we were able to build a lead and things went well for us."
Defensive pressure and the ability to create turnovers once again played a key role in Sikeston's easy win. The Bulldogs stole the ball away 24 times and caused numerous other Rams' miscues in the contest.
"Our ball pressure has got to be there night in and night out," Holifield said. "It is so central to our game plan. We put really good pressure on the ball tonight. I feel like we have slacked a little in that aspect the last couple of weeks, so ball pressure has been a major point of emphasis in practice for us. We have really worked on that lately and it showed tonight."
Howard pointed out that once Sikeston begins to steal the ball away in a game, it continues throughout the evening.
"With our team's defensive pressure, it has kind of a domino effect," Howard said. "Once we get started stealing the ball away, it just keeps going and going."
Scott City (6-8) head coach Lance Amick spoke highly of his Rams' effort and the Bulldogs talent in Friday's game.
"Our kids did tonight what they have done all year long, play their hardest," Amick said. "People say that we are not as strong as we have been in some years past and all that. I don't look at that. I look at how our kids practice and how hard they play on the court. My kids play as hard as anyone I've seen all year. I'm as proud of them as I could be. We lost to the No. 9 team in Class 4 tonight. They're (Sikeston) good, there is no way around that. Everything that went wrong on our part is from what Sikeston did. It was not from a lack of effort or our kids not trying. You have to credit Coach Holifield and what he has done for a long time now down there. They (Sikeston) are just a top notch program."
Holifield said his team, who have now won six in-a-row, can not stop working to improve.
"Our kids are working hard and we have a lot of room for improvement, and our kids understand that," he said. "We try to get better everyday. There is a point of emphasis in every practice and we will just continue to work very hard to become as good as we can."
Holifield hopes to return Porter to the starting line up for Tuesday's road game at Farmington, but will not if Porter is not ready.
"I hope so," Holifield said of having Porter in Tuesday's line up. "He (Porter) is getting better. He is still day-to-day. Hopefully we can get him back and going in the very near future."
Holifield says that when Porter does return, his team will continue to play team ball, just as they did before and after Porters injury.
"It is a total team game, and our players understand that," he said. "Michael Porter is as big of a team player as I have ever coached. It is one of those situations where that carries over to the rest of the team. When you play together as a team, good things always happen."
Note: Earlier this week, Porter earned recognition as a 2009 McDonald's All-American nominee.
In junior varsity action, Sikeston defeated Scott City 64-27 to move their record to 10-0.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Kil'Ron Coleman and Keldon Warfield with nine points and Caleb McGee with eight.