(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- All season long the Sikeston pressure defense has wreaked havoc on their opponents. Unfortunately for the Fredericktown Blackcats, that trend continued on Tuesday night.
Sikeston forced Fredericktown into 12 first quarter turnovers and 25 in the game as the Bulldogs cruised to a 90-30 win over their district foe.
Sikeston came into the game averaging just over 22 steals a game and continued their thievery against Fredericktown with 19 steals.
"We just use our speed and try to get the ball to help the team out," said Sikeston junior Darryl Howard who leads the team with over five steals per game.
"The key for us is to put pressure on the ball and we did that tonight," said Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield after the game. "I thought we came out with good energy."
The Bulldogs used that energy to jump out quickly on the Blackcats, taking a 15-2 lead after a Juqualin Wiggins basket midway through the first quarter. Fredericktown put together a small run to get back to within 10 at 18-8 but Sikeston finished the quarter on a 10-4 run.
"Fredericktown did a good job of trying to control the tempo," Holifield said. "Fortunately we had some breaks go our way. We moved the ball well offensively, we had good pressure defensively and I thought the game went well."
As Sikeston (9-1) continued to pressure the basketball in the second quarter, the Blackcats seemed to be winded, something Howard attributed to the way the Bulldogs practice.
"We have to go back and forth and up and down in practice so to us a game is a little bit shorter than practice," Howard said. "We're in good shape."
Leading 50-18 at halftime Sikeston started the third quarter on a 12-0 run and put the game well out of reach as both benches cleared for the final quarter.
Howard led Sikeston with 17 points as the Bulldogs put five players in double figures. Wiggins finished with 12 as Eli Jackson, Terry Jamison and Will Holifield all ended with 11 points. In all, Sikeston had 11 people score in the game.
"We've been fortunate where we've been able to use our entire team in some games. That helps and lets everybody feel a part of the game," Holifield said. "It keeps the players working and hopefully will get there."
Jackson led Sikeston with eight rebounds while Wiggins pulled down seven. In all, Sikeston had 21 rebounds. They also took care of the basketball, turning the ball over eight times with only one turnover in the second half.
"At times we rebounded well and at times we didn't," Holifield said. "We've got to get better in that area. For us to be good we have to control the boards and that is a point of emphasis for us."
Sikeston, currently ranked fourth in Class 4, will be back in action tonight when they host Blytheville, Ark.
"Blytheville is quick, they are very well-coached and they are going to work hard," Holifield said. "We know it is going to be a challenge for us."
FREDERICKTOWN (30) -- Keith Jackson 4, Wacey Walters 4, Coley Gray 2, Ryan Gifford 4, Codee Stamp 9, Caleb Matthews 2, Tyler Hagy 4. FG 13, FT 3-7, F 11. (3-pointers: Jackson 1. Fouled out: none)
SIKESTON (90) -- Juqualin Wiggins 12, Eli Jackson 11, Darryl Howard 17, Janeil Hatchett 8, Martez Evans 4, Terry Jamison 11, Will Holifield 11, Eldridge Gibson 2, Keldon Warfield 4, Corey Porter 8, Kil'ron Coleman 2. FG 37, FT 11-20, F 9. (3-pointers: Holifield 3, Hatchett 1, Howard 1. Fouled out: none).
Sikeston also rolled to an easy 72-26 win in the junior varsity game to improve to 10-0 on the season.
Every player scored for Sikeston as the Bulldogs were led by Keldon Warfield and Kil'ron Coleman who finished with 14 and 12 points respectively.
FREDERICKTOWN (26) -- A. Branum 2, T. Ward 4, A. Wade 3, B. Mills 15, N. Dertel 2. FG 12, FT 2-3, F 10. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)
SIKESTON (72) -- Tyler Anderson 2, Markeith Bratcher 8, Vashawn Ruffin 2, David Foster 5, Caleb McGee 9, Quentin Washington 5, Jacob Wilson 3, Terry Jamison 3, Lucas Napier 1, Eldridge Gibson 8, Keldon Warfield 14, Kil'ron Coleman 12. FG 30, FT 6-14, F 7. (3-pointers: Foster 1, McGee 1, Washington 1, Wilson 1, Jamison 1, Coleman 1. Fouled out: none).