Tournament pins bull's-eye on No. 1 Sikeston

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

It's called the SEMO Conference tournament.

But for nine teams, it's an opportunity to avenge a loss to regular season champion Sikeston.

"We've got a target on our back, and you're going to get people's best every time you come out," Sikeston coach Kevin Self said after his team clinched the conference regular season crown on Tuesday.

The tournament begins Thursday at 6 p.m. when No. 8 Chaffee and No. 9 Kelly meet at Capaha Field. In the game that follows, No. 7 New Madrid County Central and No. 10 Scott City meet.

The Chaffee-Kelly winner will get the first shot at the bull's-eye when it plays Sikeston at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Notre Dame. The other three top seeds -- No. 2 Central, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Poplar Bluff -- will also be in action Friday:

Sikeston -- which has outscored league opponents 100-17 --is the overwhelming favorite. The Bulldogs have feasted on their conference brethren and rank No. 1 in the state in Class 3. Among the wins is a 20-5 thrashing of Cape Girardeau Central, the tournament's second seed.

"Our kids have a pretty good mentality being ranked where they're at," Self said. "Some guys don't. With some teams I've had in the past, it's kind of nerve-racking. It's all the way you perceive it, and I think our kids perceive it pretty good."

Sikeston, the defending tournament champion, will be required to win twice to reach Monday's 7:45 p.m. championship game at Capaha Field. The tournament's semifinals will be at 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday at Capaha Field.

The full schedule appears today onPage 2B.

Cuba to play soccer at University of Ill.-Chicago

Notre Dame's Tyler Cuba, the Class 2 soccer player of the year his senior year, has signed a letter of intent to play soccer at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Cuba helped lead the Bulldogs to their first state soccer championship in the fall when Notre Dame finished with a 20-5 record. A midfielder, Cuba scored nine goals and had five assists. He scored 20 goals as a sophomore and had nine goals as a junior.

Cuba also has lettered in basketball and track.

Prasanphanich commits to play soccer at Rolla

Adam Prasanphanich of Notre Dame will play soccer at the University of Missouri-Rolla after recently signing a letter-of-intent.

Prasanphanich, a midfielder, scored a team-high 14 goals and had five assists in his senior season for the Class 2 state champion Bulldogs. Prasanphanich has gained all-state honors in two sports at Notre Dame. In addition to being selected first-team all-state in soccer his senior year, he earned all-state in track as a junior, finishing fourth in the 100-meter dash at the Class 2 track and field championships.

Wieser signs letter to play at Quincy University

Central senior Alex Wieser will play basketball at Quincy University next year after recently signing a letter of intent.

A four-year letterman, Wieser averaged 20.1 points and 7.3 rebounds last season for the Tigers, who finished at 16-9. She also has lettered four years in track and was a member of Central's all-state 3,200 relay team as a junior.

Wieser, a 6-foot forward, will become the second player from Southeast Missouri on Quincy's squad, joining former Notre Dame standout Deana McCormick.

Bell City's Henry signs with SMS-West Plains

Three-time all-state basketball standout Eric Henry of Bell City has signed a letter of intent to play at Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains next year.

Henry, the Southeast Missourian's player of the year, averaged 24.6 points and 12.1 rebounds his senior year. A four-year starter, he's Bell City's career leader in points, rebounds and steals. He helped the Cubs to the Class 1 state championship his junior season.

Pirates change football, boys basketball coaches

Perryville football coach Lance Bell and boys basketball coach Paul Taylor both have resigned from their positions.

Bell stepped down after his second straight 2-8 season and ended his three-year tenure with a 3-25 record. Former Perryville coach Rick Chastain, who led the Pirates to a district title in 1990, has been rehired to lead the program.

Bell will remain head coach of the Pirates' track and field team.

Taylor led the Pirates to a 5-20 record in his only season as head coach. He left to accept a position at Ste. Genevieve High School. Joel Roth, former junior-varsity coach at Perryville, will take over the program. Roth, an assistant principal this year at Perryville Middle School, will be a head coach on the varsity level for the first time.

Moberly Area Community College mines area talent

Moberly Area Community College recently signed two of the top senior players in the Southeast Missouri area. Sikeston's Lontas McClinton and Charleston's Kewain Gant, a pair of all-state SEMO Conference players, signed with the Greyhounds.

McClinton was virtually an unstoppable scoring machine for Sikeston while the 6-foot-8 Gant led the Bluejays to the SEMO Conference title and Class 3 final four.

Moberly went 11-20 last season but compiled a 30-7 record in 2001-2002, finishing fifth in the nation.

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