Although the first of their previous three-straight losses wasn't pretty, the latter two could have just as easily went the other way with the Lady Bulldogs contending late in each.
Tuesday brought some relief, however, as Sikeston ended their three-game skid against the Delta Lady Bobcats, 59-46, at Delta High School.
"We got a 'W', finally, after a very tough go with some really tough teams," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "We needed a victory. We've worked too hard against tough competition to not get a victory. We regrouped and everybody contributed and it was just a good victory.
"We needed it bad."
A strong defensive game and tireless rebounding efforts put Sikeston (8-6) over the top. The switch to a half-court defense worked wonders for the Lady Bulldogs by forcing Delta into many turnovers.
"We were able to stretch a lead out with our half-court defense," Schonhoff said. "We were able to get some steals and run a better offense. The key that won it for us was our half-court defense. It was something that we needed tonight to get us over the hump."
The Lady Bobcats (8-6) also had their troubles with unforced turnovers as well.
"We had too many unforced turnovers -- there's no doubt about that," Delta head coach Randy White said. "They're quick enough that if you turn it over in the open floor, they'll get to the basket."
Asia Liggins, who poured in 12 points, led Sikeston's dominating rebounding attack with 18 while Taneshia Pulley hauled in 12. The Lady Bulldogs were given two, three, and sometimes, four different chances to score. Sikeston also limited Delta to one-shot possessions on their end leading to transition opportunities that the Lady Bulldogs look for.
"For us to get points sometimes, we have to get the rebound, outlet and go," Schonhoff said. "We just have to be physical on the inside and get every defensive rebound that we can and that leads to things that we like to do."
A close first quarter ended with Sikeston on top, 13-12. The Lady Bulldogs opened the second frame with a quick four points but Delta responded with six-unanswered making it 18-17 in favor of the home team. That was the first of four lead changes in the second quarter, as the Lady Bobcats took their biggest lead of the night by way of a 22-19 score.
Sikeston eventually retained a 24-22 lead and eventually made it into a 26-24 halftime lead.
A free throw by Delta's Rachel Bartels closed the deficit to one point, 26-25, to open the second half but Sikeston rattled off an 11-2 run giving the Lady Bulldogs a 37-27 advantage.
From then on, the Lady Bobcats did not cut into Sikeston's lead by no more than eight points until Machela Van Gennip converted on a 3-point play with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter to make it 49-43, Sikeston.
The Lady Bulldogs held on, however, aided by six of Pulley's team-high 16 points that came in the final quarter.
"I didn't like the way we played the last three minutes," White said. "I thought the kids hustled, but the last three minutes we didn't get good shots which you've got to do against a good ball club."
Despite 22 points from Samantha Bartels and 20 points from Van Gennip, Delta had just one other player register a field goal, Rachel Bartels. Rachel Bartels ended the night with three points and Tori Burton had one point to round out the Lady Bobcats scoring.
Sikeston had three players in double digits. Including Pulley's 16 and Liggins' 12, Keyonna Blissett added 10 points.
In junior varsity action, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs came away 36-13 winners over Delta.
Sikeston opened the game with a 10-4 lead after the first quarter and then extended that to a 17-5 advantage at halftime.
Mikala Nichols led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points. Neitra White added five.
Megan Perry and Alysha Vessells each scored five points for Delta in the loss.
SIKESTON (59) -- Tyangela Gibson 6, Keyonna Blissett 10, Darqueshionna Howard 3, Vonteria Applewhite 2, Asia Liggins 12, Taneshia Pulley 16, Aleah Little 4, AnnQuaneisha Dennis 6. FG 24, FT 10-13, F 15. (3-pointers: Howard 1. Fouled out: none.)
DELTA (46) -- Rachel Bartels 3, Machela Van Gennip 20, Tori Burton 1, Samantha Bartels 22. FG 16, FT 11-19, F 14. (3-pointers: S. Bartels 3. Fouled out: S. Bartels.)