The Jackson Indians' girls basketball team used an explosive start to throw Sikeston off track, and the Bulldogs could never fully reallign themselves in Jackson's 63-38 win Monday.
The Indians (14-7) came out energetic and went ahead 17-3 early in the first quarter. Sikeston, although slowing the running Indians at times, never caught up.
"We got a few points up and then we relaxed," Jackson coach Ron Cook said of his team's late first-quarter letdown in which the Indians allowed Sikeston an 8-2 run to cut the lead to eight by the first buzzer. "Our intensity ran out. As a coach I would like to keep pressure on at all times."
Not to worry. Whitney Werner opened the second quarter with a running jumper in the lane to spur a 6-0 run and push the Indians' lead to 14 again. Paige Silverthorn of Sikeston (8-13) stopped the run with a field goal, but Sikeston could do little more in the quarter to stop the Indians.
"Coach Cook always has his girls ready to play," Sikeston coach Lee Brooks said. "Anytime we come and play Jackson, we know it's going to be a physical and fast game."
Jackson entered the locker room ahead 39-18 after holding the Bulldogs to seven points in the second quarter. The Indians used their own 20 second-quarter points to establish a strong second-half grip on their eventual 25-point victory.
Sikeston held its own in the second half and was outscored by only four points, but the 21-point hole from the first half was too much for the Bulldogs.
"When you get down to a team that good, it is tough to get going again," Brooks said.
Jackson used a string of nifty plays in the third quarter to gather applause from the full gymnasium. Jenna Leet led a fast break two minutes into the half and threaded a pass to Ashley Bartels before she dished off to an open Werner for a basket.
"Chemistry is one thing we have been lacking in the last couple of weeks," Cook said. "Lately, we have been doing a better job seeing the open person. That's what we're looking for. We would like to have that every game."
"They play so well together," Brooks said. "I can't say anything but good about them. We were just overmatched."
Jackson was lead by Leet's 17 points. Werner and Ashley Bartels contributed 11 apiece.
Joy Daniel's 11 points paced Sikeston. Jennifer Medlin added 10.