(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Kennett's defensive game plan had the Lady Bulldogs out of whack.
The Lady Indians made a living off of turnovers Monday night which knocked Sikeston out of their rhythm and provided Kennett with some of their own during a 41-29 loss for the Lady Bulldogs at the Sikeston Field House.
Sikeston, who shot 28 percent (12 of 43) from the floor, was led by a trio of players who each scored six points -- Aleah Little, Mikala Nichols and Yolanda Johnson. Little added five steals and five assists. Ariana Beard, who scored five points, led Sikeston in rebounding with eight.
Kenna Hounihan paced the Lady Indians with 12 points. Kate Shetley added eight.
Early on, Kennett (9-5) employed an effective 1-3-1 trap defense quickly surrounding Sikeston's ball handler after crossing half court. More times than not, the pressure forced by the Lady Indians coaxed a wild pass from Sikeston out of bounds or into the hands of a Kennett player.
"They took away the ball handler," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "We didn't do a good job of getting the ball into the middle. The times that we did and were able to get some looks, we weren't able to convert."
Although they were down by just four points (14-10) after the first quarter, Sikeston was outscored 12-4 in the second following nine first half turnovers.
Sikeston (3-8) found themselves looking up at a 26-14 deficit at halftime.
"We've had success frustrating people with their strength's. Frustration can mount," Kennett head coach Rod Baxter said. "They beat it a couple of times, but they didn't score against it. That just fed our girls to go harder."
Three quick points by the Lady Bulldogs right out of halftime pulled the home team to within nine just minutes into the third period. But, a 3-pointer by Kennett's Kate Shetley dashed Sikeston's hopes of making a run.
Each team scored nine and six points in the third and fourth quarters to close out the game. The closest Sikeston, who went 5 of 18 from the free throw line, came to taking a lead was nine points.
"Missing the layups and missing free throws really hurt you in a 10-point ball game," Schonhoff said.
The biggest thing that lacked from Sikeston was their inability to create turnovers, which has been their bread and butter since winning three of their last four games.
The Lady Bulldogs helped Kennett commit eight turnovers throughout the game and scored just one basket from them. Kennett forced 17.
"The thing that has really gotten us going the last few games has been our defense. Our defensive effort wasn't there (tonight)," Schonhoff said. "We were steps behind and that part is very disappointing because we've worked really hard on that. We came out flat."
Baxter said Kennett has been used to seeing the kind of pressure a team like Sikeston is capable of putting on a team. That experience helped them withstand the Lady Bulldogs' usual wave of deflections and steals.
"We're kind of seasoned on getting beat up and ball movement," he said. "We've had the luxury of putting some of our seniors into those ball movement positions. It was fun to see the team execution throughout, basically, three and a half quarters."
Sikeston hosts Perryville today with junior varsity starting at 6 p.m.
In junior varsity action Monday, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs defeated Kennett 33-15.
KENNETT (41) -- Lara Abmeyer 2, Shon Wynne 4, Kenna Hounihan 12, Kate Shetly 8, Logan Vaughan 7, Mary Callaway 4, Daqueshia Duckworth 4. FG 17 FT 4-8 F 11. (3-pointers: Shetley 2, Vaughan 1. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON (29) -- Hayli Chapman 2, Aleah Little 6, Mikala Nichols 6, Erica Peet 4, Ariana Beard 5, Yolanda Johnson 6. FG 12 FT 5-18 F 12. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Little.)