(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Sometimes the simplest things to do can be the hardest. The Sikeston girls basketball team discovered that on Thursday missing numerous layups in a 69-38 loss to rival Notre Dame at the Sikeston Field House.
"I thought we played hard, but the biggest thing is that we missed way too many layups," said Sikeston coach Matt Schonhoff. "You can't do that against a good team, good program like Notre Dame that has experience are state tested and mentally focused. When we have an opportunity to score we cannot let those slip by. We did that tonight."
Sikeston hung tough early and only trailed their rivals 6-4 nearly three minutes into the game but Notre Dame went on an 18-4 run to finish the quarter, helped by 10 points from Kaelin Hale off the bench.
The Sikeston defensive pressure picked up in the second quarter as Notre Dame turned the ball over seven times in the frame allowing the Lady Bulldogs to stay in the game as they trailed only 36-21 at the half.
A big reason was the Sikeston defense holding Southeast Missouri State University signee Allyson Bradshaw scoreless in the first half. However Bradshaw used her teammates as all of the other Notre Dame players suited up scored in the first half.
The precision passing of Notre Dame continued in the third quarter as they began to pull away from Sikeston, often making the extra pass to hit a wide open teammate for an easy shot.
"They play well with each other," Schonhoff said of Notre Dame. "They have played a long time with each other and when you have a good steady program like Notre Dame, you are going to get that. We are just in the building mode, trying to catch up with teams in our conference."
Notre Dame led 60-30 after three quarters and had the game well in hand in the fourth quarter, as Sikeston fell to 7-4 on the season.
Still there were bright spots for Sikeston, including forcing 20 Notre Dame turnovers and holding Bradshaw to only eight points in the game, well below her season average.
"Our press did bother them," Schonhoff said. "We got a lot of deflections and steals from our halfcourt defense. We held Bradshaw down from her season average but to their credit they had some girls step up and hit some three's."
Hale led all Notre Dame (8-4) scorers with 12 points as all nine Lady Bulldogs scored. Madison Huckstep added 11 points while Brooke Bohnert and Miranda Fowler each added 10 points apiece.
Sikeston's Asia Liggins scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Keyonna Blissett added nine points, however the junior guard spent quite a bit of time on the bench in foul trouble.
"I think we competed better tonight than what we did against Dexter," Schonhoff said. "For that building block we have to make layups so we know we can play with the better teams in our conference. We can get there and show them all the work we do in practice and all the things we work on is for a reason and we do this because it allows us to compete against the better teams. We did that tonight but we have to make the simple things."
Sikeston will be back in action next Thursday when they travel to Poplar Bluff to take on the Lady Mules.
Notre Dame won the junior varsity contest 48-15.
NOTRE DAME (69) -- Kaelin Hale 12, Madison Huckstep 11, Brooke Bohnert 10, Miranda Fowler 10, Allyson Bradshaw 8, Savanna Ayers 6, Nicole Blattel 4, Summer Burger 4, Hali Rendleman 4. FG 28, FT 11-13, F 9. (3-pointers: Hale 2. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (38) -- Asia Liggins 17, Keyonna Blissett 9, Taneshia Pulley 6, Tyangela Gibson 2, Janai Ivory 2, Aleah Little 2. FG 17, FT 4-6, F 17. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none).