"They're a hard team to guard," Portageville head coach Jason Irby said of the Crusaders. "We just played them about two weeks ago and they killed us on dribble penetration.
"I thought tonight our guys did a real good job of containing the dribble and getting off and helping each other. It was a good defensive effort."
Holding a six-point advantage entering halftime, the Bulldogs came out strong in the third to put Saxony Lutheran in a sizable hole.
While putting up 14 points in the frame, Portageville held the Crusaders to only three points in the frame off a basket and a free throw to push their lead to 46-28 entering the final quarter.
"Our third quarter defense was real good," Irby said. "Our bench came in there toward the end of the quarter and gave us a big lift. We had three or four kids come in and really get after it."
Though Saxony Lutheran went on a small run midway through the final frame and cut their deficit to 13, the Bulldogs offense showed no signs of slowing down, pushing their lead back to 20 with a minute left to secure the win.
Scoring 21 points, Fred Treadwell led Portageville with Tevin Walker and Jake Young contributing 11 and 10 respectively.
The Bulldogs will now face first-seeded Kennett today at 6 p.m. in the semifinals.
PORTAGEVILLE (66) -- Tevin Walker 11, Issac Ray 5, Denzell Simmons 4, Dominique Walker 5, Fred Treadwell 21, Blake Posey 2, Rondraus Booker 6, Steve Buchanan 2, Jake Young 10. FG 29, FT 6-14, F 16. (3-pointers: Dominique Walker 1, Treadwell 1. Fouled out: none).
SAXONY LUTHERAN (46) -- Brayton Klaus 17, Kris Cook 4, Clayton Carver 8, Clay Roth 6, Matt Wills 2, Gabe Bohnert 7, Ryan Sprandel 2. FG 16, FT 12-17, F 16. (3-pointers: Carver 2. Fouled out: Roth).
Dexter 71, Doniphan 56
BLOOMFIELD -- Opening the game on an 11-0 run against 10th-seeded Doniphan, the second-seeded Dexter Bearcats were able to take advantage of a slow Dons start in going on to a 71-56 win.
Though Doniphan's offense started off sluggish with only five points in the first quarter, the Dons were able to rebound in the second frame, outscore the Bearcats 16-12 to enter halftime only down by 10.
"We started off really well, then we just fouled so much that we couldn't really get a flow," Dexter head coach Rob Nichols said. "I really think they killed us on the glass tonight. They really rebounded the ball well.
"To their credit, every time we would stretch that lead out, they'd push it right back 11 or 12 and never let us really take control of the game."
Giving Dexter a little more breathing room, however, Jordan Fitts opened the third quarter scoring the Bearcats first 10 points on a 12-2 run that pushed their lead up to 20.
"Jordan has that capability to heat up and really go on a scoring run," Nichols said. "When he plays aggressive, he can score."
While the Dons were able to cut down Dexter's lead, they were unable to get any closer than 13 points as the Bearcats locked up a spot in the tournament semifinals.
On a night where Dexter had four scorers in double-digits, Jake Lee and Fitts led the team with 17 and 16 points respectively.
The Bearcats will now face sixth-seeded Twin Rivers today at 7:30 p.m. for a shot at the finals.
DEXTER (71) -- Chase Young 2, Jake Cox 5, Jordan Fitts 16, Alan Flannigan 12, Logan Robey 1, Jake Lee 17, Tyler Miller 12, Taylor Jarrell 6. FG 30, FT 10-17, F 27. (3-pointers: Miller 1. Fouled out: Flannigan).
DONIPHAN (56) -- Taylor Holland 2, Hunter Dilbeck 4, Cameron Acosta 2, Hunter Smith 5, Taylor Smith 18, Brian Patterson 11, Derek Hutchins 14. FG 17, FT 19-32, F 16. (3-pointers: Hunter Smith 1, Taylor Smith 2. Fouled out: none).
*Twin Rivers 66, Bernie 55
BLOOMFIELD -- Unable to pull off the late comeback, third-seeded Bernie fell to sixth-seeded Twin Rivers 66-55.
After seeing the Royals push a three-point lead into a 10-point one early in the fourth, the Mules were able to fight their way back to within three again with Sammy Walker hitting two free throws to complete a 9-2 run with just over two-and-a-half minutes to play.
TWIN RIVERS (66) -- Garret Stockton 9, Jacob Whitlock 2, Michel Snider 11, Eric Ray 6, Dustin Teague 12, Mason Oberkramer 7, Cole McBroom 19. FG 23, F Snider 1, Oberkramer 1, McBroom 1. Fouled out: none).
BERNIE (55) -- Cameron Shipman 16, Matt Eaves 10, Jesse Shelton 5, Bryce Rodgers 1, Sam Turner 2, Sammy Walker 15, Jordan McGowan 6. FG 17, FT 15-22, F 18. (3-pointers: Shipman 5, McGowan 1. Fouled out: none).
*Kennett 77, Holcomb 50
BLOOMFIELD -- Locking up a trip to the semifinals, the first-seeded Kennett Indians defeated the ninth-seed Holcomb Hornets 77-50.
Holding a 20-point lead entering the fourth quarter, Kennett outscored the Hornets for the fourth-straight quarter to lock up the win.
Leading the way, Cameron Wallace and Fred Garmon both contributed 16 points to the Indians' cause while Randrick Caruthers had 15 points.
KENNETT (77) -- Jay Shavers 9, Randrick Caruthers 15, Cameron Wallace 16, Fred Garmon 16, Patrick Wallace 1, Jack Walls 9, Adam Grantham 8, Andy Lack 3. FG 32, FT 9-19, F 17. (3-pointers: Cameron Wallace 3, Lack 1. Fouled out: none).
HOLCOMB (50) -- Patrick Skelton 4, Aaron Reeves 7, Tyler Crawford 8, Trent Patterson 5, Jamie Massey 18, Michael Glover 8. FG 18, FT 12-15, F 15. (3-pointers: Reeves 1, Patterson 1. Fouled out: Massey).
*Richland 91, Puxico 78
BLOOMFIELD -- Led by a monster 54-point night by Ryan Kleffer, the 11th-seed Richland Rebels knocked the 14th-seeded Puxico Indians out of the tournament with a 91-78 win.
Scoring 18 in the first quarter alone, Kleffer helped the Rebels pull out a five-point lead entering the second frame before Puxico closed back in to within two at 46-44 at halftime.
The Rebels will now play seventh-seeded Hayti in the consolation bracket semifinals today at 1:30 p.m.
RICHLAND (91) -- Parker Evans 7, Kyle Montgomery 2, Jacob Hyten 9, Aaron Gilbert 6, Ryan Kleffer 54, Richard Forshee 13. FG 32, FT 26-41, F 20. (3-pointers: Kleffer 1. Fouled out: none).
PUXICO (78) -- Jacob Plunkett 7, Ethan Walker 2, Josh Whitehead 8, Tyler Wollard 22, Clay Hardy 5, Nathan Martin 12, John Gadberry 2, Cory Davis 16, Ian Roberts 4. FG 29, FT 16-24, F 28. (3-pointers: Whitehead 2, Hardy 1, Martin 1. Fouled out: Martin).
*V. Buren 76, E. Prairie 45
BLOOMFIELD -- Unable to keep up with eighth-seeded Van Buren's offense, the 16th-seeded East Prairie Eagles were sent home from the tournament with a 76-45 loss.
Leading East Prairie, Connor Scott put up 24 points on the game with no other Eagle hitting the double-digits.
The Bulldogs will now play fifth-seeded Bloomfield at noon in the consolation semifinals.
VAN BUREN (76) -- Michael Duncan 25, Zane Betz 20, Drake Drummond 3, Dalton Hinton 11, Cody Rector 15. FG 27, FT 13-17, F 14. (3-pointers: Duncan 3, Betz 3, Drummond 1. Fouled out: none).
EAST PRAIRIE (45) -- Shawn King 9, Aaron Miller 2, Conner Scott 24, Damion Tipler 4, Logan Staggs 2, Ryan Mathis 4. FG 19, FT 6-13, F 18. (3-pointers: King 1. Fouled out: none).
*Bloomfield 76, Malden 37
BLOOMFIELD -- Going up by 21 at halftime, the fifth-seeded Bloomfield Wildcats took down 13th-seeded Malden 76-37.
Hitting a game-high four 3-pointers on the game, Seth Hill led the Wildcats with 16 points. Quentin Jackson was Malden's high scorer with 12.
BLOOMFIELD (76) -- Paul Fox 8, Jon Eftink 4, Seth Hill 16, Aron Henson 10, Matt Merick 6, Dylan Bader 9, Zach Pounds 2, Adam Vandiver 10, Mitchell Skaggs 11. FG 30, FT 11-21, F 7. (3-pointers: Fox 1, Hill 4. Fouled out: none).
MALDEN (37) -- Quentin Jackson 12, Travan Taylor 3, Patrick Wilson 5, Raymond Wilson 8, Tyson Allen 3, Quentin Johns 2, Dywhite Jackson 4. FG 14, FT 6-7, F 16. (3-pointers: Taylor 1, Wilson 1, Allen 1. Fouled out: none).
*Hayti 86, S. Pemiscot 33
BLOOMFIELD -- Holding 15th-seeded South Pemiscot to two points in the fourth quarter, the seventh-seeded Hayti Indians moved on to the consolation semifinals with an 86-33 win.
With a game-high 26 points, A.D. Hamilton led the way for the Indians while Hunter Turner and Darnell Clay contributed 19 and 17 respectively.
SOUTH PEMISCOT (33) -- Kevin Crouch 5, J.T. Walter 5, Dashawn Pruitt 2, Collin Gilmore 5, Jadarius Townson 8, Charlie Houston 4, Thomas Jones 3, David Perry 1. FG 14, FT 3-10, F 15. (3-pointers: Crouch 1, Walter 1. Fouled out: none).
HAYTI (86) -- Jermel Covington 5, A.D. Hamilton 26, Hunter Turner 19, Byron Norris 6, Darius Presberry 2, Jerome Thomas 3, Karnard Humes 6, Darnell Clay 17, Austin Watkins 2. FG 34, FT 10-18, F 11. (3-pointers: Covington 1, Turner 5. Fouled out: none).