(David Jenkins, Staff)
It was also the Bulldogs' seventh-straight road victory dating back to their first round game at the St. Dominic Christmas tournament on Dec. 27. Sikeston has not played at the Field House since their 64-57 victory over Notre Dame on Dec. 17
"(Kennett's) a really good team," Sikeston head coach Gregg Holifield said. "They have good guards and they're quick up top. I thought we played really well."
Going 6-for-17 in the first quarter kept Kennett afloat after falling into a 12-2 hole to start the game. Sikeston has aided with six points from senior Darryl Howard during that run. Kennett missed nine of it's first 10 field goal attempts to begin the contest. The Bulldogs made their first four.
Despite their early, first quarter troubles, five points from both Randrick Caruthers and Fred Garmon pulled the Indians to within one, 18-17, which is where the first eight minutes would end.
The top-ranked Bulldogs of Class 4, however, began to separate themselves from the home team in the second quarter where Kennett fell into an ice storm of woes.
Using a blistering 16-0 run, Sikeston began taking control of the game. By that time, the Bulldogs were up 38-21. Kennett missed on seven field goal attempts during that stretch.
"That hurt us a bunch we didn't see shots go down in the second quarter from anywhere we took them," Kennett head coach Jim Vaughn said. "Whether we got to the lane or a perimeter shot -- we just missed a ton."
As a team the Indians went 4-of-16 from the field in the second quarter and a combined 10-for-33 in the first half.
Catching wind of their poor shooting, the Bulldogs made it a point to check Kennett's shooters when they spotted up for a 3-pointer making it even more difficult to convert.
The Indians shot a dismal 5-of-25 from behind the arc giving the Bulldogs plenty of rebounding chances which led to easy transition buckets.
"I thought we did a pretty good job of getting out on shooters better in the second quarter," said Holifield.
Sikeston, however, continued to keep pace racking up 22 second quarter points on 10-of-17 shooting. At halftime, Sikeston led the Indians 40-25 with 12 of senior Corey Porter's team-high 17 points coming in the first half.
"We took way too many (three's) in the second and third quarter," Vaughn added. "We settled for it too many times. What we did poorly off of missed shots, we allowed them their easy run-outs. We can't just give them easy layups off of defensive rebounds.
'We made that quarter a little too comfortable for them."
The Bulldogs (16-0) kept pouring it on in the third quarter outscoring Kennett 18-14. Although the Indians shot an improved 6-for-13, Sikeston matched it with six field goals themselves. The Bulldogs went ahead by 19 points at the end of the frame, which would eventually seal Kennett's fate as they could only reach as close as 13 points in the fourth.
"You just can't give a team that caliber easy baskets," Vaughn said. "You have to make them work for everything they get and hopefully, that takes a toll. We made too much too easy for them."
Yet another balanced scoring attack kept the Indians guessing on who was about to score next for the Bulldogs. Sikeston put eight different players in the scoring column as five of which scored in double figures.
Behind Porter's 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field and 10 rebounds, Darryl Howard scored 16 and a dished out six assists, Terry Jamison added 14 points, Eldridge Gibson contributed 13 points off the bench and also had five assists while Janeil Hatchett chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds.
"We try to play as a team as much as we possibly can," Holifield said. "It makes it very difficult to stop us when you have eight to nine guys that can score."
Kennett (13-3) was led by Garmon's 20 points. Caruthers and Cameron Wallace each scored 13 as well.
Sikeston will be back at the Field House on Tuesday night when they host Jackson.
SIKESTON (82) -- Eldridge Gibson 13, Janeil Hatchett 11, Darryl Howard 16, Caleb McGee 6, Vashawn Ruffin 2, Terry Jamison 14, Will Holifield 3, Corey Porter 17. FG 34, FT 7-14, F 16. (3-pointers: Howard 1, McGee 2, Jamison 2, Holifield 1. Fouled out: none.)
KENNETT (57) -- Jay Shavers 3, Randrick Caruthers 13, Cameron Wallace 13, Fred Garmon 20, Jack Walls 2, Adam Grantham 4, Andy Lack 2. FG 22, FT 8-11, F 12. (3-pointers: Shavers 1, Caruthers 2, Wallace 1, Garmon 1. Fouled out: none.)
Sikeston 66, Kennett 62
KENNETT -- In what would be the closest game the Sikeston junior varsity would play to date, the Bulldogs skimmed by the Kennett Indians on Friday night, 66-62.
This was the junior varsity's 41st straight win.
Although Sikeston jumped out to a commanding 46-29 lead going into halftime, the Indians rallied back pulling to within just three points later in the fourth quarter.
3-pointers from both Vashawn Ruffin and Markeith Bratcher helped seal Sikeston's win.
Sikeston (13-0) was led by both Ruffin and Bratcher who each scored 15 points. Cord Sheehy added 13 points behind three 3-pointers while J.T. Jones chipped in 12.
Both teams went into Friday night's contest with an unblemished record as Kennett now stands at 11-1.
SIKESTON (66) -- Reese Porter 2, Kyland Gross 9, Cord Sheehy 13, Vashawn Ruffin 15, J.T. Jones 12, Markeith Bratcher 15. FG 26, FT 5-14, F 15. (3-pointers: Gross 1, Sheehy 3, Ruffin 2, Jones 1, Bratcher 2. Fouled out: Jones.)
KENNETT (62) -- DK Wallace 2, Cameron Harper 3, Tyson Campbell 4, Kevonte Mitchell 13, Antavies Drake 15, Antonio Primer 14, Divonte Taylor 11. FG 27, FT 6-12, F 11. (3-pointers: Harper 1, Drake 1. Fouled out: none.)