(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Highlight by Dominique Dyes' 16-point effort, the Sikeston Bulldogs pulled off their second win in-a-row to move to 2-1 on their young seventh grade season.
Taking on Poplar Bluff in the opening round of the Sikeston Seventh Grade Tournament, the Bulldogs built a 12-point halftime lead before running away from the Mules in the third to win 47-24.
"This was our best game we played so far out of the three we've played," Sikeston coach Derek James said. "Mainly we're getting the effort and intensity on defense that we want and I thought we moved the ball much better offensively (than in the past).
"We passed it around and hit open people. That's what I like to see."
Opening up with a 15-4 run thanks in part to six points from Victwon Riley, the Bulldogs were able to keep the pressure on Poplar Bluff from the first whistle to the last, building a 24-12 advantage entering the half.
Still not comfortable with the space they had put between them and the Mules, the Bulldogs made the third quarter their highest scoring of the night, bursting out for 19 points in the frame.
At one point in the quarter, Dyes scored seven consecutive Bulldog points before going on to collect nine of his game-high 16 points in the frame.
Finally, after Sikeston went on a 4-1 through a low scoring fourth, the Mules Isiah Williams hit a three-pointer as time expired to make up the final.
Able to hold Poplar Bluff to single-digits point totals in all four quarters while forcing the Mules into mistakes all game long, James was pleased to see his team playing the the aggressive style of basketball he wants them to play.
"Good defense, that's what we really hang our hat on," he said. "Being able to not just create turnovers, but also force the tempo and try to get to the speed that we want the game to be.
"A fast-paced game is the way we want to play and I think we were able to get the tempo to where we wanted it tonight."
Next up, Sikeston will play the winner of Wednesday night's Cape Central vs. Jackson game to the determine a tournament winner Friday at 6:30.
The results of the Cape Central/Jackson game was not available at press time.
POPLAR BLUFF (24) -- Kameron Misner 8, Steven Rowland 2, Isaac Lasetter 2, Triston Francisco 6, Landon Massingham 1, C. Steffens 2, Isiah Williams 3. FG 10, FT 1-6, F 8. (3-pointers: Williams 1. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (47) -- Wyn Roberds 4, Antonio Bennett 2, Jaylen Mallory 8, Dominique Dyes 16, Dakota Ray 2, Nathan Hampton 3, Victwon Riley 6, Leo Harris 4, Cedric McIntyre 2. FG 19, FT 7-11, F 15. (3-pointers: Dyes 1, Hampton 1. Fouled out: none).