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Indians cage 'Dogs
Jackson's Spencer Goodman was healthy. And unstoppable.
Sikeston's Michael Porter spent the night in foul trouble.
With that combination of factors, Jackson overpowered visiting Sikeston 76-54 in a SEMO Conference showdown Tuesday night.
The win left Jackson (14-6) at 5-0 in the SEMO Conference with four league games to play. Sikeston, 13-3 and ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 4, suffered its first conference loss.
A play early in the second period summed up the night for both Goodman, who had a game-high 27 points, and Porter, the two-time all-state junior who played 17 minutes and 1 second while scoring a career-low three points. With 6:29 to play in the half, Porter fouled Goodman as the 6-foot-6 senior fired a 3-point shot from the corner.
With Porter went to the bench for the rest of the half, Goodman converted three free throws to bump Jackson's lead to 13. The Indians stretched it to 21 -- 46-25 -- at halftime.
"I thought we came out really ready to play," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "We were active on offense, we attacked the basket and we executed some sets. When you're hitting your shots, it makes everything go a lot better. In the second quarter, we really started moving the ball well and made our shots."
The Indians made half of their 34 shots from the field in the first half -- hitting six of 13 3-pointers and 11 of 21 deuces. Goodman had 20 in the first half in his first game back from a knee injury suffered last week at Poplar Bluff. He sat out Saturday's loss at Jefferson City.
"Spencer was on fire in the first half," said teammate Jake Leet, who added 25 points. "That was one of our best, probably our best offensive first half ever. We wanted to work it around, make them stay on defense and not make too many quick shots. We wanted to get the offensive mismatch with Spencer."
Goodman scored inside and outside -- three 3-pointers -- in the first half in a Leet-like performance.
"The trainer said if I have confidence and strength, I was ready to play," Goodman said. "I can't explain it. We knew we had to win. They play great defense and we just attacked the basket and tried to get to the free throw line to get things rolling."
While Leet added two 3-pointers in the first half, and Kyle Keith the other, the Indians also went inside on Sikeston. Hunter Grantham scored nine of his 17 points in the first half, and the Indians hit seven of nine free throws.
Grantham drew Porter's first foul on a three-point play about 2 minutes into the game.
Matt Lang boxed out Porter on a Sikeston miss early in the second quarter to draw the second foul and foul No. 3 came on Goodman's shot about a minute later.
Sikeston opened the second half with two quick baskets on a steal by Sherwin Jones, who led the Bulldogs with 11, and a feed from Porter to Juqualin Wiggins to cut the deficit to 17.
But Porter fouled Goodman, who had just regained the dribble on a loose ball in the lane, and went to the bench for the final 7:04 of the third period.
"We talked about going inside at him," Scott said. "We felt he was so much a part of their offense, even if he isn't the one scoring. He creates the offense for them. If he didn't get in foul trouble, it's a different game."
Sikeston continued its run, cutting the score to 15 before Leet's 3-pointer and Goodman's three-point play bumped it back to 54-33. The Bulldogs made another run of nine straight points over the final 2 1/2 minutes of the period to cut the score to 63-51.
But Jackson opened the fourth period with three straight baskets by Grantham, Goodman and Leet to bump the lead back to 18 and essentially wrap up the game. Sikeston was held to three free throws as Jackson ran an effective, time-consuming offense and Grantham scored eight of the Indians last 15 points while taking advantage of Porter's situation.
"Hunter was the star of the fourth quarter," Leet said. "Their press got us out of our game in the third quarter and we just had to take a deep breath."
And by then, Sikeston was out of breath.
"We had to use so much energy, and Jackson was patient and did a great job," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "I thought Jackson was outstanding. They shot the ball well. We just never got in sync."
JACKSON 76, SIKESTON 54
SIKESTON (54) -- Juqualin Wiggins 10, Brandon Washington 9, Matt Ritch 5, Sherwin Jones 11, Dominic Fondon 6, Cal Lane 5, Eli Jackson 5, Michael Porter 3. FG 22, FT 7-9, F 18. (3-pointers: Ritch 1, Lane 1, Jones 1. Fouled out: none)
JACKSON (76) -- Marcus Harris 4, Kyle Keith 3, Spencer Goodman 27, Jake Leet 25, Hunter Grantham 17. FG 27, FT 15-24, F 13 (3-pointers: Goodman 3, Leet 3, Keith 1. Fouled out: none)