Sikeston topples Jackson with 13-point win

Friday, December 8, 2006
Jackson's Hunter Grantham took possession of the ball after grabbing a rebound during Thursday's SEMO Conference semifinal game while Sikeston's Michael Porter applied the defensive pressure. (Chris Moore)

The Indians encountered their first loss in the semifinals, falling 86-73.

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Jackson failed to take care of the ball Thursday in its semifinal of the SEMO Conference tournament, and No. 1 Sikeston took advantage in a 86-73 win.

The Indians held a pair of two-point leads late in the opening quarter, but a 5-0 run over the final minute gave Sikeston a 25-20 lead and the momentum. Sikeston continued to take advantage of turnovers in the second quarter and started to pull away by the half.

"We went through that 3-minute stretch in the first quarter and we lost our composure and made some silly turnovers that last minute and their lead went up to five," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said.

Through the first half, the Indians were continually beaten down the court on long outlet passes. Sikeston hit 11-of-12 free throws in the opening quarter, many of those chances coming from fouls off outlet breaks.

Sikeston's big men, Ray Rodgers and Michael Porter, were the early recipients of the long passes, with guard Julian Beard getting in on the act as well.

"We gave them too many easy baskets," Scott said. "They weren't in transition. They leaked a guy out and got the baseball pass."

Jackson stayed with the Bulldogs for much of the third quarter before Sikeston pulled away. Sikeston used an 8-0 run late in the third to go ahead 63-45.

The Bulldogs were aided in their run by a slew of Jackson turnovers.

"We made some turnovers in bunches," Scott said. "When you give up turnovers in bunches, that allows the other team to make a run."

Beard was the main cog in Sikeston's run, scoring 14 in the opening half and another nine in the third. Overall, Beard led the Bulldogs 23 points.

"Beard's a great player, but he got eight to 10 points leaking out," Scott said.

In the fourth, the Indians started to inch back, cutting the lead to seven points with a little less than 3 minutes remaining on Caleb Guilliams' 3-pointer. Jackson had a chance to get the lead to five points, but Jake Leet was called for a charge.

Sikeston iced the win with eight straight free throws down the stretch.

Bulldogs reserve guard Matt Rich was 9-for-9 from the line and finished with 15 points.

"One or two calls go our way, we get a break and maybe the game goes our way," Scott said.

Rodgers added 14 points for Sikeston, Michael Porter had 13 before fouling out and Isaac Porter added 11.

Hunter Grantham led the Indians with 22 points, Leet had 15 and Matt Lang added 11.

Jackson played its second straight game without 6-foot-6 Spencer Goodman, one of the Indians' leading scorers last season. Goodman will miss tonight's game as well with an injury.

"It did [hurt], but not having Spencer doesn't have anything to do with the turnovers or other things," Scott said. "When we get him back that will help, but our focus is not as much on the individual player as how we play the game."

The Indians (4-1) had opened the tournament with a 62-36 trouncing of Poplar Bluff in Monday's late game. Grantham had 17 points to lead three players in double figures against the district champions from last year.

Leet had 13 points and Marcus Harris scored 11.

Sikeston 86, Jackson 73


JACKSON (73) -- Hunter Grantham 22, Jake Leet 15, Matt Lang 11, Caleb Guilliams 8, Antonio Garritano 7, Steven Spradlin 6, Marcus Harris 2, Wren Harris 2. FG: 29, FT: 13-17, F: 24 (3-pointers: Guilliams 2. Fouled out: Spradlin, Garritano.)

SIKESTON (86) ? Julian Beard 23, Michael Porter 13, Ray Rodgers 14, Matt Rich 15, Isaac Porter 11, Josh Jackson 2, Brandon Washington 4, Blake Taylor 3. FG: 31, FT: 23-30, F: 17 (3-pointers: Beard 1. Fouled out: M. Porter.)




Poplar Bluff68157--36

JACKSON (62) -- Hunter Grantham 17, Jake Leet 13, Marcus Harris 11, Matt Lang 8, Antonio Garritano 7, Steven Spradlin 4, Wren Warris 2. FG 14, FT 22-25, F 13. (3-pointers: Leet 3, M. Harris 1. Fouled out: none).

POPLAR BLUFF (36) -- Rusty Bryant 13, Jordan Chaligoj 8, Austin Sutton 5, Phillip Brown 4, T.J. Stonecipher 2, Skyler Holeman 2, Jeremy Mitchell 2. FG 16, FT 4-10, F 19. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none).

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