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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Rib City Shootout: Summer finds SHS working to improve

Sunday, July 11, 2010

(Photo)
Sikeston's Darryl Howard steals the ball from a West Plains player on Friday during a game in the Rib City Shootout held at the Bearcat Event Center in Dexter. For more photos see our gallery at www.standard-democrat.com.
(David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- It isn't much of a secret on what has made the Sikeston Bulldogs one of the best in the area over recent years.

"We're real fast, we're feisty, we'll get down for loose balls, we scrap. We just do the dirty work," Sikeston's Janeil Hatchett said. "It's payed off in the long run for us."

What has helped them in during their quest is the time and effort they have put in during the off-season; especially during the summer.

The Bulldogs participated in their third summer shootout of the summer on Friday at the Rib City Shootout in Dexter. They, along with the 29 other teams there, take the opportunity in their down-time to accomplish one thing; get better.

"It's summer and we understand that we've got to get so much better in so many different ways," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "Our kids have a great work ethic and that's the key. If you've got kids that will work and try to get better then, hopefully, when the season comes around we'll be okay."

Previously, the Bulldogs took part in a Kennett and Southeast Missouri State University shootout that involved battling teams such as West Memphis and Whitehaven, who both were at the SEMO Shootout.

As of Friday, Sikeston had not lost a single scrimmage throughout the summer.

"I like where we're at right now," Hatchett said. "I think SEMO was our best camp with the most competition. I think that really gave us a look at where we're going to be at next season."

Sikeston's defensive prowess is looking to be, yet again, their most prized attribute. It was certainly the difference in their 62-26 dismantling of West Plains on Friday in Dexter.

"What we do is predicated on defensive ball pressure," said Holifield. "That's a point of emphasis whether it's midseason or during the summer. We try to guard the basketball as hard as we possibly can."

For Sikeston's sake, the successes obtained during the summer time can hopefully transcend into another successful regular season.

"We've had a really good summer," said Holifield. "We've played several games and fortunately we have played well. But, our players have to understand that we have to keep getting better and keep improving."