(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The New Madrid County Central Eagles finally got off the snide.
The Eagles cut down on turnovers that have been haunting them since the season began and defeated the Poplar Bluff Mules in the consolation semifinals, 45-43, druing the SEMO Conference Tournament at the Sikeston Field House.
"We won't go without a win," NMCC coach Travis Day said with a grin. "We finally put two halves together. We still didn't finish like we should, but we got it done. We bent, but didn't break."
The biggest margin any team had in the game was nine points, which was held by NMCC during the second quarter.
Poplar Bluff tied the game with 1:10 left in the final quarter but NMCC's Darrin McGloson broke the tie with a made free throw with under a minute remaining.
With 3.8 seconds left, NMCC's CJ Chism connected on one free throw, but missed the second. Chism was able to grab his own offensive rebound to secure the win.
"Win, lose or draw, we have to cut down on turnovers," Day said. "That's something we have to continue to work on if we want to add more wins to this one."
The Eagles were led by Jayshawn McDaniel who scored nine points. CJ Chism and Jamarri Jones each added seven as NMCC failed to put any players in double figures.
Kendric McCain led Poplar Bluff with 14 points.
NMCC will play Jackson for the consolation championship at 5:30 p.m.
NMCC (45) -- Earl Grissom 7, Lamonte Nelson 3, Jayshawn McDaniel 9, CJ Chism 7, Tevin Winfield 4, Darrin McGloson 6, Jamarri Jones 7, Wilson 2. FG 18 FT 7-14 F 15 (3-pointers: Nelson 1, McDaniel 1. Fouled out: none.)
POPLAR BLUFF (43) -- Michael Griggs 9, Kendric McCain 14, Jake Rathbun 6, Lucas Tibbs 3, Joey Bloodworth 8, Lance Gray 3. FG 16 FT 6-11 F 12 (3-pointers: Griggs 2, McCain 2, Tibbs 1. Fouled out: none.)