(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- The third quarter was what buried the Dexter Bearcats.
They shot 2-of-12 from the field, allowed a 15-0 run and didn't score until 3:23 remained in the frame.
All of that led to a 22-point lead for the Sikeston Bulldogs heading into the fourth quarter. And it all came after the Bearcats went into halftime with only an eight-point deficit staring at them.
"That third quarter we didn't come out and execute what we tried to do in the locker room," Dexter head coach Rob Nichols said. "We knew their energy level would be up trying to extend that lead. We took a couple of bad shots, quick ones, they got out and got it going and got that press set. It was a typical Sikeston run that they've been putting on teams this year."
The second half push made by the No. 2 seeded Bulldogs was all it took on Wednesday night as Sikeston (19-3) took care of the Bearcats 62-37 in the semifinals of the Class 4, District 1 tournament.
"We created some turnovers and got points off of our turnovers, which is something we didn't do in the first half," Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield said. "That was the difference in the game. We created some situations there where we could score."
The Bulldogs outscored Dexter 19-5 in the third quarter while the Bearcats struggled with their shot. Dexter (15-12) went on an 8:08 scoring drought that began at the 3:31 mark in the second quarter and lasted until senior Gary Summers drained a 3-pointer with 3:23 left in the third. Sikeston was up 44-24 at that point.
"We played well from the second quarter on I thought," said Holifield. "You have to give Dexter credit. They battled and their kids played hard."
Throughout the first half, Dexter hung around with the Bulldogs.
Senior Jon Bowman began the game with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Bearcats a 6-0 lead. After answering with consecutive 3-pointers from Sikeston's Will Holfield and Darryl Howard and another basket from Howard, junior Alan Flannigan tied the game at eight with an emphatic put-back dunk halfway through the opening quarter.
"Jon really got us going in the start of the game," Nichols said. "He got his feet set and really shot the ball with confidence. Those were big to get us going. He probably didn't get as many open looks as we would have liked him to the rest of the game. They really started focusing on where he was at and didn't lose him much more. He was big at the start of the game."
Another bucket by Flannigan gave the Bearcats a 20-19 lead a minute-and-a-half into the second quarter. Dexter slowed down the tempo and had very few turnovers due to Sikeston's press. The Bearcats did, however, have problems after beating the press. They forced passes inside the lane in which Sikeston picked off.
"Instead of reversing the ball we let the pressure get to us a little bit," Nichols said. "We wanted to get it in the paint as quick as we could and we didn't really reverse it enough to get that zone to move so we could get it in there."
Despite committing 16 turnovers in the first half, Dexter found themselves down by eight at the break.
"They handled the ball well even though we did create some turnovers and we did score off of them," Holifield said about Dexter's first half. "They were aggressive on the glass as well. They were out-rebounding us in the first half."
Flannigan and Bowman, who finished with 14 and nine respectively, accounted for 19 of the Bearcats' 21 first half points.
Howard led the Bulldogs with 13 points and six assists. Holifield and Janeil Hatchett, who had seven steals, each added 11 points apiece while Juqualin Wiggins chipped in eight points and hauled in nine rebounds.
Sikeston moves on to the district championship game against the Notre Dame Bulldogs for the fifth year in-a-row. The Sikeston-Notre Dame game will proceed the girls district championship which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Notes: Dexter will be parting ways with five seniors following their loss to Sikeston. Brandon Stoker, Ryan Windham, Gary Summers, Jon Bowman and Walt Phillips. Stoker did not play on Wednesday night due to an illness.
"We hate that one of them didn't get to play his last game tonight, Stoker, whose had a great season" Nichols said. "I've known these guys for years. They're great kids who come from good families. This school will miss them and our basketball program will miss them."
The boys district championship game between Sikeston and Notre Dame will be broadcast on YHCtv. It can also be viewed live on the internet at yhctv.com.
DEXTER (37) -- Ryan Windham 2, Gary Summers 3, Bryn Hester 2, Alan Flannigan 14, Jon Bowman 9, Jake Lee 5, Taylor Jarrell 2. FG 15 FT 3-4 F 11. (3-pointers: Summers 1, Bowman 3. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON (62) -- Juqualin Wiggins 8, Eli Jackson 6, Darryl Howard 13, Caleb McGee 2, Janeil Hatchett 11, Terry Jamison 7, Will Holifield 11, Corey Porter 4. FG 25 FT 7-11 F 9. (3-pointers: Howard 1, Jamison 1, Holifield 3. Fouled out: none.)
Notre Dame 76,
DEXTER -- The No. 1 seed Notre Dame Bulldogs made short work of the No. 4 seed Perryville Pirates on Wednesday night with a 76-35 win in the Class 4, District 1 tournament at the Bearcat Event Center.
The Bulldogs were up by 19 points to begin the second half and extended that lead to 36 at the end of the third quarter.
Jacob Tolbert led Notre Dame (19-5) with 21 points while Keke Kellum added 12. Bryce Weibrecht had a game-high 24 points for Perryville in the loss.
PERRYVILLE (35) -- Andrew Martin 2, Jake Dobbelare 1, Ross Moldenhauer 5, Wade Lawerence 1, Bryce Weibrecht 24, Jared Thieret 2. FG 13 FT 8-16 F 10. (3-pointers: Moldenhauer 1. Fouled out: Martin.)
NOTRE DAME (76) -- Nick Koeppel 6, Liam Maher 6, Keke Kellum 12, Alex Carroll 9, Derek Landewee 2, Tanner Hiett 4, Jacob Tolbert 21, Matt Patton 2, Matt Helle 4, Dylan Essner 6, Andrew Lange 4. FG 31 FT 8-16 F 17. (3-pointers: Kellum 2, Carroll 3, Tolbert 1. Fouled out: none.)