(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Picking up their 11th win of the season on Tuesday, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs took a nine-point lead into the half against Delta, before running away to a 61-28 final.
"The first half we were still jet-lagged from our game last night against Kennett," Sikeston coach Matt Schonhoff said. "We got back late and it showed. The second half we made some adjustments and came out with a better effort.
"Our pressure and speed took over and we were able to knock down shots. That was the difference in the ball game."
Holding the Lady Bobcats (7-6) to only 2 of 16 shooting in the second half, it didn't take the Lady Bulldogs (11-6) long once the second half opened to start pulling away for good.
Delta opened the third quarter with a pair of free throws to close to their deficit to seven, but while being held scoreless the next four minutes, watched Sikeston score 12 straight points.
After Machela VanGennip hit a jumper for Delta's only bucket of the frame, with 3:27 remaining, Sikeston added a pair of baskets from Leah Little and Mikala Nichols to enter the fourth with a 44-24 advantage.
Taking advantage of the Lady Bobcat's miscues, Sikeston scored the first four buckets of the final frame to go up 50-24 when Keyonna Blissett took a half-court pass in for a layup with 5:55 to play.
Though a quick timeout by Delta soon after led to their only basket of the quarter, Sikeston was able to hold the Lady Bobcats to only a pair of free throws in the final four minutes of the contest.
"The things that we're capable of doing we just didn't do," Delta coach Randy White said. "We needed to control the tempo a little better and we didn't do it. We just got caught up in their game the whole second half."
Delta's only lead of the game came in the early minutes of the first quarter when VanGennip hit her only 3-pointer of the game to push her team ahead 5-2 into the game.
Connecting from the right side of the arc just seconds later, however, Howard hit the first of four Sikeston three's on the night to open up a 6-0 run to retake the lead.
After tying things back up at, 9-9, on a pair of free throws from VanGennip early in the second frame, Delta was able to hang within two-points of the Lady Bulldogs midway through the second by hitting their first four shots of the quarter.
With an 11-4 run in the final four minutes of the half, Sikeston was able to push back out 28-19 entering the break.
"(Against) teams that are not used to the big floor we can do good things with our pressure then we can capitalize," Schonhoff said. "If we don't do good things then we're slow and lackadaisical, then we're going to get beat.
"That's what happened in the first half. In the second half we had a lot better effort."
Sikeston shot 27 of 57 from the floor (47.3 percent) while Delta, who was missing guard Macey Parks due to injury, connected on 9 of 33 (27 percent).
With three girls posting double-digits scoring totals, Sikeston was led by Tyangela Gibson who had 16 points, hitting on 7 of her 11 shots, while grabbing four rebounds and two steals.
Howard had 14 points, three steals and two assists with Blissett contributing 10 points, 10 steals and seven assists.
For the Lady Bobcats VanGennip had 12 points, all in the first three quarters, while Tori Burton added 10 to Delta's cause.
DELTA (28) -- Lyndse Hamby 2, Alysha Vessells 2, Machela VanGennip 12, Chastity Taylor 2, Tori Burton 10. FG 9, FT 8-16, F 6. (3-pointers: VanGennip 1, Burton 1. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON (61) -- Tyangela Gibson 16, Keyonna Blissett 10, Quesha Howard 14, Leah Little 4, Mikala Nichols 6, Taneshia Pulley 4, Yalanda Johnson 2, Danika Garmon 3, Jalen Peet 2. FG 27, FT 3-6, F 16. (3-pointers: Gibson 2, Howard 2. Fouled out: none.)