[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 79°F  
High: 84°F ~ Low: 71°F
Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

Bulldogs' relentless defense, up-tempo style too much for Kennett

Sunday, January 22, 2012

(Photo)
Sikeston's Terry Jamison attempts to drive past Kennett's Kevonte Mitchell on Friday night at the Sikeston Field House. David Jenkins, Staff
SIKESTON -- With a combination of hot shooting and pressure defense, the Sikeston Bulldogs defeated Kennett 69-50 on homecoming night at the Sikeston Field House.

The Indians came into the contest as one of the hottest teams in the area, winning eight straight games, including the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament championship.

However, Kennett (11-5) had no answer for the Bulldogs' swarming pressure defense, turning the ball over a whopping 29 times.

On top of that, the Bulldogs broke open a close game in the third quarter by draining five of its eight 3-pointers in the second half to build an insurmountable lead.

"I thought we had really good energy, we were working hard, but you have to give Kennett credit, they are a good team and do a lot of good things and they have good size," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "But I thought our kids battled through some things and got the ball to fall in the hole in the second half. We kind of got some rhythm and momentum going and from that perspective I was very pleased."

The Bulldogs led 28-17 at the half, but Kennett started the third quarter on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 28-27 with 5:33 left in the period.

Sikeston (15-3) responded, going on a 12-0 run to push the lead to 40-27 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.

Kennett never threatened again, getting no closer than nine the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs extended the lead to 46-33 going into the fourth quarter and led by as much as 21 in the final frame.

"That's the nature of Sikeston, they are a team of runs," Kennett coach Jim Vaughan said. "They really capitalize on mistakes. They shored their defense up and were able to get some points off turnovers. I think that was the biggest difference tonight. We had 29 turnovers in the game. I mean, just cut that in half or take 10 of those away, it's a whole different game. It makes that last quarter a whole different makeup with how they've got to combat things."

Sikeston built a 13-8 lead after one quarter and were able to extend the lead to 28-15 in the second quarter before Kennett's Antavies Drake hit a floater in the lane just before the halftime buzzer to cut the Bulldog advantage to 28-17.

The Indians then took that momentum into the third quarter as they gave the Bulldogs a brief scare, cutting the lead to one.

"They came out in the second half strong and we came out a little sluggish," Holifield said. "They came out in an aggressive attack mode and did some really nice things, but our players maintained their composure and quickly built back up to a 15-point lead which is what good teams do."

The Bulldogs stopped the Kennett run with a transition layup by Markeith Bratcher and a steal and pull-up jumper by Vashawn Ruffin. Terry Jamison and Caleb McGee then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to quickly extend the lead back to double figures.

The Bulldogs were in control of the rest of the way.

"They didn't necessarily hit them in the first half," Vaughan said of Sikeston's shooting. "We wanted to keep the basketball in front of us and we did a good job of rebounding out of that, but they stepped out a little bit deeper on us. When you've got a Caleb, and a Terry, and a Vashawn out there -- I think Markeith stepped out and knocked some down -- that's just kids that have been in the situation that rise up to it. Kudos to them for stepping up and making some of those shots."

Sikeston was 8-of-20 from 3-point range. McGee led the charge, going 4-6 from beyond the arc for a game-high 17 points, the most he's scored since pumping in a season-high 19 in a Dec. 3 victory over Valley View, Ark.

"We were getting open looks and fortunately we were knocking them down," Holifield said. "Caleb really stepped up big for us and hit some big shots. I thought overall tonight we had a great team effort and I thought our mindset was better. We worked extremely hard this week in practice and we're going to work as hard as we can from this point on to get better."

Ruffin scored 12 points to go with his six assists and five steals. Jamison had eight points, six rebounds, five assists and six steals.

Bratcher had nine points off the bench.

Sikeston's bench out-scored Kennett 20-2.

Kennett was led by 6-foot-3 sophomore Kevonte Mitchell's 14 points. Adam Grantham and Antonio Primer each scored 10 for the Indians.

Kennett's length and athleticism caused problems for the smaller Bulldogs, especially in the rebounding department -- winning that battle 30-20.

JaJuan Wallace led the Indians with 10 boards. Grantham and Primer each had six rebounds.

By comparison, Sikeston's leading rebounder was the 5-foot-9 Jamison.

"That's an area we have to get better in," Holifield said. "It was a point of focus this week. We will just have to continue to work and become better rebounders."

The Bulldogs have not lost to Kennett since 2004, winning seven straight against the Indians.

Sikeston will play at Jackson on Tuesday in a SEMO Conference matchup.

Junior varsity

The Sikeston J.V. team improved to 12-2 on the season with a 66-13 victory over Kennett.

The Bulldogs led 17-2 after one quarter and 33-5 at the half.

Twelve different players scored for the Bulldogs led by Reese Porter's 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Marquise Parks added 11 points. Jairius Ray had five steals and four assists. Zach Harrison recorded five steals.

Kennett was led by Tyson Campbell's five points.

Kennett891617--50
Sikeston13151823--69

KENNETT (50) -- Kevonte Mitchell 14, Adam Grantham 10, Antonio Primer 10, Antavies Drake 8, JaJuan Wallace 6, Cameron Harper 2. FG 20, FT 4-8, F 9. (3-pointers: Mitchell 2. Fouled out: none).

SIKESTON (69) -- Caleb McGee 17, Vashawn Ruffin 12, Markeith Bratcher 9, Kil'Ron Coleman 9, Terry Jamison 8, J.T. Jones 5, Kyland Gross 3, Cord Sheehy 3, Keldon Warfield 3. FG 16, FT 13-16, F 13. (3-pointers: McGee 4, Jamison 2, Sheehy 1, Bratcher 1. Fouled out: none).

Sikeston 66, Kennett 13

(Junior varsity)

Kennett2371--13
Sikeston17162310--66

KENNETT (13) -- Tyson Campbell 5, Harold Weeden 4, Landon Vaughan 2, Malik Wallace 1, Jackson Britt 1. FG 4, FT 2-8, F 5. (3-pointers: Campbell 1. Fouled out: none).

SIKESTON (66) -- Reese Porter 15, Marquise Parks 11, Corbyn Blissett 8, Chris Scott 8, Jairius Ray 5, Dantrell Brown 4, Steven Baker 4, Peyton Boyd 3, Jeterrence Harris 2, Zach Harrison 2, Gavin O'Brien 2, Luke Williams 2. FG 25, FT 4-5, F 13. (3-pointers: Scott 2, Porter 1, Ray 1. Fouled out: none).