(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs saw their share of frustration early this season as they fought through six straight losses before picking up their first win of the season.
As of late, however, the Lady Bulldogs have turned things around and are currently owners of a three-game winning streak including wins over Scott City and Chaffee.
Their latest 'W' came at the hands of visiting Caruthersville on Monday, with the Lady Bulldogs running away to a 46-point halftime lead en rout to a 77-15 win.
"In the three games we've played well we've competed a lot better," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said of his team's recent success. "Our defense has been good and in terms of our development with our younger kids, they're starting to play a lot better.
"They're feeling more free and more relaxed in what we do."
Free and relaxed was the theme against the Lady Tigers as the Lady Bulldogs turned countless Caruthersville turnovers into easy layups.
Sikeston was able to hold the Lady Tigers scoreless through the first seven minutes of the contest, all while going on a 20-0 run.
Nikita Hunt was able to break up the Lady Tigers' drought on a basket with 42 seconds left in the first frame, but it couldn't slow down Sikeston's march to an easy win.
Three straight buckets from three different Lady Bulldogs opened up the second frame and after another Caruthersville basket, Sikeston went on to score 20 straight points to match their opening run.
At the half, the Lady Bulldogs owned more than a comfortable 52-6 lead that resulted in a turbo-clock for the entire second half.
Erica Peet had 12 points in the first half to lead Sikeston's charge while Yolanda Johnson and Hayli Chapman pitched in 10 and eight points respectively during the run.
"I thought we did everything we needed to do in terms of what our gameplan was," Schonhoff said. "We played hard and competed and when we had the chance for steals and deflections we were able to get out and make a lot of layups.
"The only thing that was a detriment was some turnovers and not being able to make free throws."
Though they had a running clock to start the second half, Sikeston continued with their defensive aggressiveness the final two quarters and outscored the Lady Tigers 11-7 in the third. A 14-2 run in the fourth quarter made up the final.
"That was the key for us coming out of the locker room," Schonhoff said of his team's defensive pressure. "We did not want to show any let down in what we wanted to do. We're still a very young team and there is some things we're still working on.
"Coming out lax in the second half is not a habit we want to get in to."
Peet led the Lady Bulldogs' effort with 17 points on the night to go along with five steals, three rebounds and an assist. Johnson finished with 12 points, three rebounds and an assist.
Four different Sikeston players finished with eight points, including Chapman, Dominique Roach, Aleah Little and Alana Basham. Little also contributed four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
In junior varsity action the Lady Bulldogs came away with a win, beating the Lady Tigers 41-24.
Now at 3-6 on the season the Lady Bulldogs will face a much stiffer test in their next contest on Thursday. They'll play visiting Notre Dame with junior varsity action starting at 6 p.m.
CARUTHERSVILLE (15) -- Shaunquell Grant 2, Jada Conner 2, Nikita Hunt 2, Brashauna Mack 4, Mariah Jackson 6. FG 7, FT 1-4, F 9. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON (77) -- Hayli Chapman 8, Dominique Roach 8, Aleah Little 8, Brandy Peet 2, Mikala Nichols 6, Erica Peet 17, Ariana Beard 7, Trenice Greer 1, Yolanda Johnson 12, Alana Basham 8. FG 37, FT 3-10, F 4. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none.)