(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
ORAN -- Taking a three-point lead into the fourth quarter Wednesday night against the Oran Lady Eagles, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs went on an 11-4 run in the first three minutes of the frame before holding on to win 55-45.
"We had the run come at the most opportune time when we needed it," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "We needed a little bit of a lift. That was probably the biggest point of the ball game, especially on the offensive end."
Forced to work from behind after Oran (9-8) entered the second quarter with a 16-14 advantage, the Lady Bulldogs (12-6) came back to tie the Lady Eagles at halftime before building a nine-point lead midway through the third.
Keeping Sikeston within reach while being led by Cheyanne King's five points in the period, Oran was able to fight their way back within three points to enter the fourth down 39-36.
It was in the first minute of the final quarter, however, that the Lady Bulldogs scored the first five points, all off the hands of Asia Liggins. After making a basket to start the quarter, Liggins missed the first half of a 1 and 1 just under a minute into the quarter, but grabbed her own rebound and put up a shot, getting fouled in the process and connecting on both the basket and ensuing free throw to make it 44-36.
Finishing the 11-4 run, Keyonna Blissett was fouled going up for a shot with 5:10 play, making the basket, but missing the free throw to put her team up 50-40.
"We changed some things with our press the second half and it gave (Oran) problems," Schonhoff said. "We started getting more turnovers on their part, were able to score and were able to get to the free throw line. That was just a big factor in the second half."
Though the Lady Eagles fought to keep within striking distance, with Halle Woodfin dropping in a basket with 3:18 to play to cut her team's deficit to nine, Sikeston's Vonteria Applewhite picked off a Lady Eagle pass soon after before going in to score to put the Lady Bulldogs' lead back in the double digits at 54-43.
In keeping Oran from scoring for over 2 1/2 minutes, while Darqueshionna Howard hit a free throw to push Sikeston's lead to 12 points, the Lady Bulldogs' defense was able to hold the Lady Eagles back by at least 10 points in the final 2:53 minutes to secure the win.
Hitting almost everything she put up, Asia Liggins led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds. Blissett finished with nine points, two rebounds and six steals.
For the Lady Eagles, Cheyanne King finished with a game-high 17 points while Nenninger and Haley Glastetter contributed nine and eight points respectively.
"We did a good job tonight," Oran head coach Adam Friga said. "(Sikeston) beat us by (about) 35 points the first game of the year. We played them straight up tonight, pretty much even every quarter, so our kids did a good job. I was proud of them."
Sikeston's current winning streak now stands at five.
SIKESTON (55) -- Tyangela Gibson 8, Keyonna Blissett 9, Darqueshionna Howard 6, Vonteria Applewhite 6, Asia Liggins 15, Janai Ivory 2, Taneshia Pulley 5, Aleah Little 5. FG 23, FT 7-14, F 17. (3-pointers: Blissett 1, Howard 1. Fouled out: none)
ORAN (45) -- Cheyanne King 17, Haley Glastetter 8, Halle Woodfin 4, Chrissy Sauceda 3, Taylor Nenninger 9, Addie Kielhofner 4. FG 14, FT 16-25, F 19. (3-pointers: Nenninger 1. Fouled out: none)