(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldogs opened the 2010 SEMO Conference Tournament with a 76-45 win over the New Madrid County Central Eagles on Monday night at the Sikeston Field House.
The No. 1 seeded Bulldogs raced out to a 19-8 lead after the first quarter and did not allow a field goal in the second quarter until 2:28 remained in the half. Sikeston distanced themselves further with a 17-2 run and stood with a very comfortable 24-point lead at halftime.
"I thought in the second quarter we put more pressure on the ball and created turnovers and kind of got into a flow at that time," Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield said. "We were much more intense which led to easy baskets for us. The first quarter I felt like we were really sluggish and didn't really do that."
Corey Porter led the 11 Bulldogs that contributed at least two points with 18 points and added nine rebounds. Vashawn Ruffin chipped in 11 points off the bench while Will Holifield added 10 points including one 3-pointer.
"At times I thought we played pretty well," Holifield said. "It was very sloppy but, we just need some time. It's obvious that we just need some time. We've played four games and had six practices. Hopefully, in the next two days, we can work on some things and get better offensively and defensively."
Earl Grissom led the No. 8 seeded Eagles with 11 points off the bench. Grissom also pulled down five rebounds and scored NMCC's first of two field goals in the second quarter.
"Sikeston makes you do a lot of things as a coach, you don't want your team to do," NMCC head coach Travis Day said. "I think we helped them with a lot of those things and we couldn't buy a basket. That transition offense is really good and our lack of making baskets helped them get into their transition offense. I think that's where the biggest factor was."
It was the Bulldog's 11th victory in-a-row against NMCC. They have also won the last 14-of-16 meetings.
Sikeston (4-0) will now play Jackson in the tournament semifinals on Thursday night at 7 p.m. while NMCC (1-2) will play Charleston tonight following the Notre Dame-Dexter game at 7:30 p.m.
NMCC (45) -- Lamonte Nelson 7, Keith Holmes 11, G'Darius Stevenson 6, Earl Grissom 11, CJ Chism 8, Reese Porter 2. FG 19, FT 4-14, F 15. (3-pointers: Nelson 1, Holmes 2. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON (76) -- Kil'Ron Coleman 4, Eldridge Gibson 4, Janeil Hatchett 6, Darryl Howard 2, Caleb McGee 4, Vashawn Ruffin 11, Terry Jamison 9, Will Holifield 10, Keldon Warfield 6, Corey Porter 18, Treston Pulley 2. FG 27, FT 18-21, F 13. (3-pointers: Ruffin 1, Jamison 2, Holifield 1. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON -- It was a matchup that didn't favor the Charleston Bluejays as a taller, bigger Jackson Indians squad pulled off a mild upset as the No. 5 seed with a 65-56 win over the No. 4 Bluejays.
"They're strong," Charleston head coach Danny Farmer said about Jackson. "I thought they played a real good game too. They hit some difficult shots. We put pressure on them and they were able to live through the pressure."
The Bluejays (2-2) never obtained a lead as Jackson stormed out to a 13-4 lead at one point in the first quarter. The Indians continued to utilize their height advantage building a 36-26 halftime lead as the 6-8 John Meyer and 6-5 Bobby Clark dominated the glass combining for 20 rebounds and 30 points.
"We needed to play a lot better to beat them," said Farmer. "We weren't hitting our shots. A bigger team is going to beat us inside most of the time so we're going to have to hit every easy shot that we get.
"We just have to keep playing and try to get better."
Although Charleston's Micheal Hull scored five-straight points in the early stages of the third quarter to cut it to an 8-point game, Jackson rallied with eight-straight to expand their lead to 16 points.
Charleston fought back to win the fourth quarter, 18-11, but it was too little, too late.
Jerry Carter and Ryan Parham led the Bluejays with 12 points apiece. Parham had six steals as well. Gregory Tucker and Hull chipped in with 10 point apiece.
Charleston will play NMCC at 7:30 p.m. tonight while Jackson moves to the semifinals to face Sikeston on Thursday at 7 p.m.
CHARLESTON (56) -- Aaron Cassell 8, Ryan Parham 12, Gregory Tucker 10, Jerry Carter 12, Krushon Scott 2, Michael Hull 10, Avery Williams 2. FG 19, FT 11-13, F 15. (3-pointers: Cassell 2, Tucker 1, Carter 2, Hull 2. Fouled out: none.)
JACKSON (65) -- Caleb Newcomer 2, Tyler Rhodes 14, Zach McDowell 11, Chris Poyner 2, Bobby Clark 20, Brad Clary 6, John Meyer 10. (3-pointers: Rhodes 4. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON -- The Cape Central Tigers narrowly escaped the Poplar Bluff Mules in the last game of the opening round of the SEMO Conference Tournament, 36-29.
Clinging to a 1-point lead with 50 seconds remaining, Cape Central's Andrew Williams calmly sank two free throws giving the Tigers a 32-29 lead.
Trying to tie the game, Poplar Bluff's Kendric McCain attempted a 3-pointer that bounced off the top of the rim and was pulled down by Williams who was immediately fouled.
Williams, who led the Tigers with 16 points, sank two more free throws following his rebound putting the game away and securing a semifinals appearance against either Notre Dame or Dexter on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.
Jack White led the Mules, who will play the loser of the Notre Dame-Dexter game at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, with seven points.
POPLAR BLUFF (29) -- Rhys Griffith 3, Micheal Griggs 3, Kendric McCain 5, D'markus Patterson 2, Joey Bloodworth 2, Ike Anders 5, Nick Shrum 2, Jake White 7. FG 9, FT 6-10, F 15. (3-pointers: Griffith 1, Griggs 1, McCain 1, Anders 1, White 1. Fouled out: none.)
CAPE CENTRAL (36) -- Andrew Williams 16, T.J. Tisdell 4, James Lane 8, Zach Boerboom 8. FG 8, FT 19-22, F 13. (3-pointers: Williams 1. Fouled out: none.)