Just a matter of time that they will wear a team down. Just a matter of time that they will turn a close game into a blowout.
The Bulldogs did it again on Friday, turning a halftime deficit against arch rival Charleston into a convincing 87-60 SEMO Conference victory.
It's not the first time Sikeston has been behind at halftime this season, and it probably won't be the last. But one thing that has proven to be a near certainty, the Bulldogs get stronger as the game lingers on.
It was Sikeston's depth that wore Charleston down, out-scoring the Bluejays 49-20 in the second half on Friday.
"We play 10 guys and they might have gotten a little tired," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "Our depth I'm sure played a role and we were able to keep fresh people in there."
Holifield doesn't just have 10 guys to fill minutes, but all 10 have the ability to put the ball in the basket.
Senior Darryl Howard led the team with a season-high 20 points, the fifth different player to lead the team in scoring in a game this season.
The balanced scoring makes it difficult for teams to focus in on one specific player.
"We're a team and we play as a team," Holifield said. "We try to have five or six guys in double figures. Points aren't a concern to us. We just want to play as well as we can possibly play. They're very unselfish -- the entire team is. Every night it's somebody different it seems like."
In the St. Dominic Christmas Tournament two weeks ago, Sikeston relied on its outside shooting to win games.
On Friday night against the smaller Bluejays, the Bulldogs scored nearly every basket in the paint as they connected on just one 3-pointer the entire night.
"The athleticism started showing up for Sikeston -- bigger, stronger, taller -- and it just wore us down," Charleston coach Danny Farmer said. "That press started taking effect in the second half. We turned the ball over a little bit and they were stealing the ball. Our inexperience started showing and fatigue set in for us."
Charleston led 40-38 at the half and scored the opening basket of the third quarter to lead 42-38, but the Bulldogs took control of the game with a 9-0 run.
Sikeston never trailed again as they continued to build the lead by causing turnovers and scoring in transition highlighted by a circus-shot alley-oop basket by Janeil Hatchett to lead 58-46, drawing a roar of approval from the red-clad Sikeston faithful.
Sikeston led 60-50 heading into the fourth quarter and had totally seized control of the game.
"Their depth always wears teams down," Farmer said. "We thought we could handle the press -- we handled it for a half. But we missed too many easy shots. Against a great team you can't miss easy shots. You've got to make you shots, you've got to make free throws."
Sikeston extended the lead even more in the fourth quarter as Hatchett began slicing through the Bluejay defense on drives to the hoop including a one-handed jam on a fastbreak.
The final score marked Sikeston's largest lead of the game.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in Class 4, improve to 13-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEMO Conference. Charleston falls to 8-4 and 1-1 in league play.
"We put a little pressure on them and they probably don't see our defense all the time," Farmer said. "They adjusted to it better in the second half. I thought if we could just shoot it well the whole game that we could have a chance."
Sikeston came out strong, taking a 7-0 lead to start the game and silencing the capacity home crowd. But the Bluejay faithful came to life as Charleston responded with its own 7-0 run to tie the game.
Both teams battled to a 17-17 tie after the first quarter.
Charleston was able to take control of the game in the second quarter, leading by as much as seven points on two separate occasions.
The hot perimeter shooting of Trey Watkins and Michael Hull kept Charleston ahead, but poor free throw shooting by the Bluejays allowed Sikeston to stay within striking distance.
Charleston was just 8-of-17 from the line in the first half -- 12-for-22 for the game.
"We had the lead, but we should've been up 10 or 12 in the first half," Farmer said.
Greg Tucker led the Bluejays with 15 points. Watkins and Hull scored 11 and eight points off the bench, all in the first half. The two combined to hit all four of Charleston's 3-pointers.
"Watkins was shooting well and Hull was shooting well early -- we need all those guys hitting on all cylinders to beat somebody like Sikeston," Farmer said.
Howard scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter.
Jamison scored 15 points followed by Hatchett's 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Corey Porter had 10 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
The Bulldogs also got 27 points from the bench. Keldon Warfield grabbed nine rebounds as Sikeston out-rebounded the Bluejays 37-27.
Sikeston will host Class 4 No. 5 ranked DeSoto tomorrow with junior varsity action starting at 5 p.m.
Charleston played McCluer South-Berkeley on Saturday in the Tiger Shootout. Results from that game will be in Monday's paper.
The Sikeston junior varsity improved to 10-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEMO Conference with a 60-40 victory over Charleston (3-3, 1-1).
The Bulldogs led 25-21 at the half, but out-scored Charleston 35-19 in the second half to pull away.
Three players had double-doubles for the Bulldogs led by freshman Reese Porter's 14 points and 14 rebounds. Markeith Bratcher had 11 points and 13 rebounds. J.T. Jones had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Charleston was led by Shandor Webster's 11 points.
SIKESTON (87) -- Darryl Howard 20, Terry Jamison 15, Janeil Hatchett 13, Corey Porter 10, Kil'Ron Coleman 6, Keldon Warfield 6, Caleb McGee 6, Vashawn Ruffin 5, Eldridge Gibson 4, Will Holifield 2. FG 33, FT 18-23, F 22. (3-pointers: Howard 1. Fouled out: none).
CHARLESTON (60) -- Greg Tucker 15, Trey Watkins 11, Claude Armstrong 9, Ryan Parham 9, Michael Hull 8, Aaron Cassell 4, Jerry Carter 2, Krushon Scott 2. FG 18, FT 12-22, F 20. (3-pointers: Hull 2, Watkins 2. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (60) -- Reese Porter 14, Markeith Bratcher 11, J.T. Jones 10, Vashawn Ruffin 9, Kyland Gross 6, Blake Flannigan 4, Rayshundre Jackson 4, Cord Sheehy 2. FG 23, FT 11-15, F 10. (3-pointers: Ruffin 1. Fouled out: none).
CHARLESTON (40) -- Shandor Webster 11, Darrion Henderson 8, Da'Marquelle Pittman 7, Robert Bogan 4, Ja'Marquelle Pittman 4, Will Davis 2, Michael Kellum 2, Sumner Foster 2. FG 15, FT 4-8, F 11. (3-pointers: D. Pittman 1, Webster 1. Fouled out: none).