Sikeston, Scott County won't play this year

Thursday, January 15, 2009
ELIZABETH DODD ~ edodd@semissourian.com
Drew Thomas and his Scott County Central teammates will not get a chance to play Sikeston this season.

A meeting of the four schools involved in the potential changing of Feb. 10's slate of games to have Sikeston play Scott County Central for the first time since 1971 yielded no game for this season.

Sikeston (10-2) is ranked No. 9 in the state's Class 4 boys basketball poll, while Scott County Central (12-1) is ranked No. 2 in Class 1 after finishing third in the state and second in the rankings last year.

The teams are considered the best in Southeast Missouri, with Sikeston having won the SEMO Conference tournament and Scott County having won the Oran Invitational and Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

Scott County Central has won a state record 12 state titles under coach Ronnie Cookson and is a contender this year under Cookson, who posted his 700th career boys basketball coaching win Tuesday.

The Feb. 10 schedule has both schools in home nonconference games with Oran at Sikeston and Saxony Lutheran, state-ranked in Class 2, at Scott County Central.

Oran superintendent Mitch Wood, the tournament director for the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament, had begun working on an idea to turn the Feb. 10 games into an Oran-Saxony and Sikeston-Scott County doubleheader. The Sikeston Fieldhouse and Black River Coliseum were considered as potential facilities, as was the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, which is available Feb. 11.

The Southeast Missourian's Semoball.com Web site, part of Rust Communications, proposed a sponsorship offer for the schools that included a portion of the Show Me Center rental fees.

But the meeting Wednesday afternoon among the school's representatives leaves the Feb. 10 schedule as is.

"It's not going to happen," Wood said. "We agreed it would only happen if all four agreed to it."

Wood said it was a good meeting and produced dialogue that could lead to games between Sikeston and Scott County Central in future seasons.

Part of the intrigue for this year's game includes a pair of seniors who have been mentioned as players Southeast Missouri State is recruiting -- Sikeston center Michael Porter and Scott County Central guard Drew Thomas.

Porter, a 6-foot-5 three-time all-stater, also has a cousin, Otto, who is a 6-6 sophomore and starting center for Scott County Central.

Sikeston, which made the final four in Porter's freshman season but has lost to Notre Dame in district championship games the last two seasons, won its first SEMO tourney title since the event was reinstituted in 2006-07. The Bulldogs have beaten Notre Dame twice this season and have lost only to Class 5 St. Louis Lafayette and Warren Central of Kentucky.

Scott County Central's only loss this season was to Memphis Central at the Riverbend Classic.

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