(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs have become known for their full-court pressure defense since Matt Schonhoff was named the new coach before the season.
On Monday night, that defense wreaked havoc, forcing Perryville into 41 turnovers as Sikeston defeated the Lady Pirates 57-47 in the first round of the Class 4, District 1 Tournament at the Bearcat Event Center in Dexter.
Sikeston (17-7) forced numerous turnovers right out of the gate and jumped to a 7-2 lead just three minutes into the first quarter. Perryville tied the game up on a conventional three-point play from Natalie Bauwens with 3:12 remaining in the first, but Sikeston's Tyangela Gibson scored eight-straight points in just a minute-and-a-half to give the Lady Bulldogs a 17-9 lead.
Perryville cut the lead to 17-12 but a basket by Sikeston's Janai Ivory as time expired pushed the Lady Bulldogs advantage to 19-12 after one.
Perryville sliced the Sikeston lead to 21-18 in the second quarter after four-straight points from Allison Moldenhauer. It was then that Sikeston, once again behind Gibson, took control of the game.
After a basket from Asia Liggins gave Sikeston a 23-18 lead, Gibson scored seven-straight points, extending the Lady Bulldogs' lead to 30-18. Gibson finished with a game-high of 21 points in the contest.
"(Tyangela) came ready to play," Schonhoff said. "She saved us in the first half doing what she does best. She's a scorer off the bench and she comes in with energy and she knows what her job is."
The Lady Pirates fought back to 32-22 at halftime, thanks in part to their strong rebounding. Perryville outrebounded Sikeston 25-16 in the first half and 43-38 for the game.
"We didn't have any effort on the rebounding end," Schonhoff said. "Taneshia (Pulley) was in foul trouble and it killed us. But she did an excellent job in the second half of getting rebounds and getting outlets and we got some layups."
The Lady Bulldogs dominated the third quarter, building as much as an 18-point lead thanks to a 9-0 run. A Keyonna Blissett 3-pointer keyed the run followed by back-to-back baskets by Gibson that gave Sikeston a 46-28 lead with 1:32 left in the frame.
Sikeston held a large lead for most of the fourth until Perryville finished the game on an 11-2 run to make the final 57-47.
"We had a lot of easy layups that we blew and the game should never have been this close but Perryville did an excellent job of scrapping and playing hard in the fourth quarter and hanging tough," Schonhoff said. "You have to give them all the credit."
Besides Gibson's 21 points, Liggins finished with 10 points for the Lady Bulldogs while pulling down nine rebounds. Taneisha Pulley had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Perryville (9-14) was led by Bauwens as the senior finished her career with 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Sikeston will now take on top-seeded Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the district semifinals.
"They're a very good team," Schonhoff said. "They're state tested and we have a lot of respect for them. If we don't come out mentally focused and ready to go, we are going to be in a world of hurt."
PERRYVILLE (47) -- Natalie Gremaud 6, Morgan Mueller 2, Kaycee Erzfeld 3, Abbie Schilli 8, Allison Moldenhauer 6, Kelsey Schremp 2, Katlyn Lukefahr 2, Natalie Bauwens 18. FG 21, FT 4-8, F 12. (3-pointers: Erzfield. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (57) -- Tyangela Gibson 21, Keyonna Blissett 4, Darqueshionna Howard 2, Vonteria Applewhite 9, Asia Liggins 10, Janai Ivory 4, Taneshia Pulley 7. FG 24, FT 8-13, F 11. (3-pointers: Blissett 1. Fouled out: none).