SIKESTON -- In a battle of the No. 1 ranked teams in Class 4 and 3, the Sikeston Bulldogs defeated the Charleston Bluejays 71-61 in the championship game of the SEMO Conference Tournament on Friday night at the Sikeston Field House.
It's Sikeston's fourth tournament title in the last five years, avenging last year's championship game loss to Charleston.
Sikeston (6-0) led 36-23 at halftime and led by as much as 17 points in the third quarter but Charleston (5-1) closed the gap to 46-35 by the end of the period.
The Bluejays got as close as 64-61 on a Delfinko Bogan free throw with 1:10 remaining, but the Bulldogs closed out the game with a 7-0 run.
Sikeston guard Vashawn Ruffin finished with 17 points and a career-high 12 assists and six rebounds. Junior forward J.T. Jones finished with a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds. Markeith Bratcher added 13 points.
Charleston was led by Michael Hull's 18 points.
For a full game story, see the Sunday edition of the Standard Democrat.
SIKESTON (71) -- J.T. Jones 21, Vashawn Ruffin 17, Markeith Bratcher 13, Jairius Ray 6, Cord Sheehy 5, Reese Porter 4, Kyland Gross 3, Jeterrence Harris 2. FG 22, FT 15-25, F 13. (3-pointers: Bratcher 2, Jones 1, Gross 1. Fouled out: none).
CHARLESTON (61) -- Michael Hull 18, Darrion Carter 11, Sumner Foster 10, Delfinko Bogan 8, Ryan Parham 8, Robert Bogan 4, Shandor Webster 2. FG 24, FT 7-11, F 22. (3-pointers: D. Bogan 1, Hull 1. Fouled out: D. Bogan, Carter).