(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The loss of senior point guard Dontre Jenkins took its toll on the New Madrid County Central Eagles on Friday night.
Jenkins unfortunately suffered a broken foot in their game against the Sikeston Bulldogs on Thursday night and will be out for several weeks.
However, the Eagles had to come right back a day later without their starting point guard to try and leave the SEMO Conference tournament with a third place finish against the Notre Dame Bulldogs. NMCC took a 60-42 loss.
"We've got to get used to being without Dontre," NMCC head coach Travis Day said. "I told them that they can't fell sorry for themselves because we won't be able to do anything.
"Dontre's our leader. Not only on the basketball court but in the school and in the community. These kids look up to him and they lean on him a lot. Our two young point guards got to a point where they didn't have him to lean on and they struggled."
The Eagles looked to be ready to do that early in the contest. NMCC took a 13-9 lead after the first quarter. But, Notre Dame gained and held the lead in the second quarter following a 16-3 Bulldogs run.
"I think we got to the point that we started feeling sorry for ourselves," Day said. "We just started making constant mistakes and you can't do that against good teams."
Notre Dame outscored the Eagles 25-11 in the second quarter and went into the locker room with a 34-24 lead at the half.
NMCC's Kony Ealy shared a game high of 21 points with Notre Dame's Jacob Tolbert. Keith Holmes added nine for the Eagles.
Nick Koeppel chipped in with 12 for the Bulldogs while Liam Maher added 11.
NMCC (42) -- Lamonte Nelson 6, Keith Holmes 9, G'Darius Stevenson 2, Kony Ealy 21, Brandon Johnson 2, Williams Bledsoe 2. FG 13 FT 16-25 F 17. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none.)
NOTRE DAME (60) -- Nick Koeppel 12, Liam Maher 11, Keke Kellum 2, Luciano Starling 7, Jacob Tolbert 21, Matt Helle 5, Dylan Essner 2. FG 21 FT 15-20 F 23. (3-pointers: Maher, Tolbert 2. Fouled out: Helle.)