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Sikeston quickness too much for spindly Indians

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sikeston's Vashawn Ruffin (24) goes around Jackson's Brandon Lueders (33) Tuesday at the Sikeston Field House. Sikeston won the game 77-65. Chris Pobst, Staff
SIKESTON -- In a classic matchup of speed versus size, the Sikeston Bulldogs' speed won out yet again.

The Bulldogs toppled Jackson and its towering lineup on Tuesday night in a SEMO Conference tilt at the Sikeston Field House, 77-65.

It's Sikeston's sixth straight win over Jackson, dating back to 2008.

The Bulldogs combatted Jackson's superior size by turning it into a full-court game, creating 27 turnovers against the Indians.

The miscues led to many fast-break points for the Bulldogs.

"That's our Achilles heel right now," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "We let one mistake turn into two and that's something we've got to fix."

Jackson (12-7) came out strong, taking a 12-7 lead in the first quarter, but Sikeston's Vashawn Ruffin buried a fade-away 3-pointer at the buzzer to trim the lead to 12-10.

The shot started a 12-1 run by the Bulldogs to take the lead in the second quarter.

"We've got to cut out those spurts," Scott said. "When things are in a tough spot, we've just got to execute better. There are times we lose our composure."

Sikeston (16-1) staked a double-digit lead in the second quarter, holding a 28-17 advantage after a drive and lay-in by Ruffin with four minutes left in the half.

Jackson was able to trim the lead to 36-28 by halftime.

"I thought in the second quarter we did some good things," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "We had good pressure on the ball. We created some turnovers and put ourselves in a position to get some baskets and build a lead."

The Bulldogs extended the lead to 43-30 in the third quarter as Markeith Bratcher hit a 3-pointer and scored a layup with 5:59 left in the period.

They maintained a double-digit lead through most of the third, pushing it to 54-39 after a Kyland Gross layup on a steal and assist from J.T. Jones by the end of the third.

Sikeston led by as much as 65-49 in the fourth quarter after Reese Porter scored back-to-back baskets.

The Indians kept the game from getting out of hand with a barrage of 3-pointers in the closing minutes, but they would not get closer than eight in the final seconds.

Ruffin hit 7 of 8 free throws to help keep the Indians at bay. The all-state guard finished with 24 points, eight assists and seven steals.

"We did a good job early, we were going to double him when he touched it and try to keep him from getting to the basket," Scott said of Ruffin. "There were a few times we lost our concentration and lost him and he went one-on-one and scored on us and there were a few times we didn't find him in the matchup. But good players are going to do that and find those openings."

Porter scored a varsity career-high 20 points with five rebounds.

Bratcher followed up with 16 points. Jones had six points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals.

Gross led the Bulldogs with six rebounds and added four assists.

"I thought that Reese played as well as he's played," Holifield said. "He's just getting better and better and he works hard. He comes into practice every day with a great attitude. Vashawn did a great job as well. I thought our other players did a great job of just coming in and doing their jobs. There were a lot of positives out of the game tonight, but we know we still have to get a lot better in a lot of areas."

Jackson controlled the paint for much of the night, out-rebounding the Bulldogs 29 to 26. But the turnovers against the Bulldogs' pressure defense were too much to overcome.

"I felt like when we broke the press and got up the floor, offensively we did some good things in the halfcourt," Scott said. "Sikeston is still tough to score on because they collapse in the post so hard and they're so quick. That's something that we haven't seen with them doubling-down that quick on our bigs."

The Indians were led by 6-foot-5 junior Karson King's 20 points. Blake Reynolds, a 6-7 sophomore, added 16 points.

Braxton McDowell had 12 points, all coming on four 3-pointers.

"I think Jackson is a quality team and they're well-coached," Holifield said. "They have a lot of size. I thought our kids really battled that. We had moments where we really played well, and then we had moments where we got lackadaisical and didn't play well. We just have to play a complete game and put it all together."


JACKSON (65) -- Karson King 20, Blake Reynolds 16, Braxton McDowell 12, Brandon Lueders 8, Skyler Steele 3, Josh Friess 2, Braden Wendel 2, Luke Stevens 2. FG 18, FT 8-12, F 15. (3-pointers: McDowell 4, King 2, Steele 1. Fouled out: none).

SIKESTON (77) -- Vashawn Ruffin 24, Reese Porter 20, Markeith Bratcher 16, J.T. Jones 6, Kyland Gross 4, Zach Jackson 2, Cord Sheehy 2, Jeterrence Harris 2, Jairius Ray 1. FG 24, FT 14-22, F 13. (3-pointers: Ruffin 3, Bratcher 2. Fouled out: none).

Junior varsity

Sikeston 57, Jackson 32

The Sikeston J.V. team improved to 10-2 on the season with a 57-32 win over Jackson.

The Bulldogs held a 20-8 lead at the half but exploded in the third quarter, out-scoring the Indians 27-9 to blow the game open.

Sikeston was led by Chris Scott's 13 points. Zach Jackson followed up with 10 points.


JACKSON (32) -- Caleb Bess 14, Terry Venable 10, Grant Ward 4, Jacob Smith 2, Seth Bollinger 2. FG 9, FT 5-11, F 7. (3-pointers: Venable 2, Bess 1. Fouled out: none).

SIKESTON (57) -- Chris Scott 13, Zach Jackson 10, Zach Harrison 6, Marquese Parks 6, Dominique Dyes 5, Juwon Kimble 4, Earnest Fobbs 4, Dantrell Brown 3, Blake Below 3, Cedric McIntyre 2, Luke Williams 1. FG 15, FT 6-10, F 13. (3-pointers: Scott 3, Parks 2, Below 1, Dyes 1. Fouled out: none).

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