Final will be all-dog affair

Thursday, February 23, 2006

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Class 4 District 1 showdown is set.

The expected Battle of the Bulldogs is on for Friday night.

Sikeston and Notre Dame rolled in semifinal victories Wednesday night at the Sikeston Field House.

Top-seeded Sikeston pulled away from fourth-seeded Fredericktown 64-41, while No. 2 seed Notre Dame hammered third-seeded Ste. Genevieve 76-57.

Sikeston (19-6) will meet Notre Dame (22-3) for the district championship Friday at 7:30 p.m.

It's a rematch from mid-December when Sikeston defeated Notre Dame 83-61 at Notre Dame Regional High School.

"You don't go 22-3 and beat the people they've beaten without having a good team," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "I think they're a much better team than the first time we played them. But we've improved, too.

"Whoever wins it will have to earn it. We're two of the best teams in the area and it's set for a good championship night."

Notre Dame raced out to a 14-2 lead and never trailed Wednesday against Ste. Genevieve.

The Bulldogs led 21-11 after one quarter and extended it to 42-21 heading into halftime.

Ste. Genevieve (14-12) made a run in the third quarter after they began to solve the Notre Dame full-court press. The Dragons got as close as 57-47 and had a chance to trim the lead to seven, but a 3-point attempt didn't fall.

Notre Dame took a 59-47 lead into the fourth quarter, and the Dragons didn't get any closer.

Notre Dame sophomore Ryan Willen scored 13 of his game-high and career-high 29 points in the first quarter. He hit four 3-pointers in the game.

Alex Ressel added 12 points for the Bulldogs.

Ste. Genevieve was led by Kyle Faulkner's 12 points.

Sikeston reached the final after dealing with Fredericktown's attempt to slow down the first semifinal game.

Sikeston led just 36-30 late in the third quarter before going on an 8-2 run for a 44-32 lead.

Freshman Michael Porter led Sikeston with 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Julian Beard and Ray Rodgers each added 12 points for the Bulldogs.

Notre Dame 76, Ste. Genevieve 57

Notre Dame21211717--76
Ste. Genevieve11102610--57

NOTRE DAME (76) -- Ryan Willen 29, Alex Ressel 12, Xavier Delph 10, Ty Williams 9, Kirk Boeller 8, Frankie Ellis 4, Abe Dirnberger 2, Chad Friend 2. FG 26, FT 12-20, F 14 (3-pointers: Willen 4. Fouled out: Ressel)

STE. GENEVIEVE (57) -- Kyle Faulkner 12, Kory Faulkner 11, Garrett Ditch 9, Mike Schuletter 8, Dustin Noll 7, Jake Donze 6, Eric Schrader 4. FG 19, FT 10-12, F 19 (3-pointers: Kyle Faulkner, Schuletter)

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