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Jackson boys basketball team falls to Sikeston 77-65
SIKESTON, Mo. -- In a classic matchup of speed versus size, the Sikeston Bulldogs' speed won out yet again.
The Bulldogs toppled Jackson and its towering lineup on Tuesday night in a SEMO Conference tilt 77-65.
It's Sikeston's sixth straight win over Jackson, dating back to 2008.
The Bulldogs combatted Jackson's superior size by turning it into a full-court game, creating 27 turnovers against the Indians.
The miscues led to many fast-break points for the Bulldogs.
"That's our Achilles' heel right now," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "We let one mistake turn into two, and that's something we've got to fix."
Jackson (12-7) came out strong, taking a 12-7 lead in the first quarter, but Sikeston's Vashawn Ruffin buried a fade-away 3-pointer at the buzzer to trim the lead to 12-10.
The shot started a 12-1 run by the Bulldogs that extended into the second quarter.
"We've got to cut out those spurts," Scott said. "When things are in a tough spot, we've just got to execute better. There are times we lose our composure."
Sikeston (16-1) staked a double-digit lead in the second quarter, holding a 28-17 advantage after a drive and lay-in by Ruffin with four minutes left in the half.
Jackson trimmed the lead to 36-28 by halftime.
"I thought in the second quarter we did some good things," Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield said. "We had good pressure on the ball. We created some turnovers and put ourselves in a position to get some baskets and build a lead."
The Bulldogs extended the lead to 43-30 in the third quarter as Markeith Bratcher hit a 3-pointer and scored a layup with 5:59 left in the period.
They maintained a double-digit lead through most of the third, pushing it to 54-39 after a Kyland Gross layup on a steal and assist from J.T. Jones by the end of the third.
Sikeston led by as much as 65-49 in the fourth quarter.
The Indians kept the game from getting out of hand with a barrage of 3-pointers in the closing minutes, but they would not get closer than eight in the final seconds.
Ruffin hit 7 of 8 free throws to help keep the Indians at bay. The all-state guard finished with 24 points, eight assists and seven steals.
"We did a good job early, we were going to double him when he touched it and try to keep him from getting to the basket," Scott said about Ruffin. "There were a few times we lost our concentration and lost him and he went one-on-one and scored on us, and there were a few times we didn't find him in the matchup. But good players are going to do that and find those openings."
Porter scored a career-high 20 points with five rebounds.
Bratcher followed with 16 points.
Jackson controlled the paint for much of the night, outrebounding the Bulldogs 29-26. But the turnovers against the Bulldogs' pressure defense were too much to overcome.
"I felt like when we broke the press and got up the floor, offensively we did some good things in the halfcourt," Scott said. "Sikeston is still tough to score on because they collapse in the post so hard, and they're so quick. That's something that we haven't seen with them doubling-down that quick on our bigs."
The Indians were led by 6-foot-5 junior Karson King's 20 points. Blake Reynolds, a 6-7 sophomore, added 16 points.
Braxton McDowell had 12 points, all coming on four 3-pointers.
JACKSON (65) -- Karson King 20, Blake Reynolds 16, Braxton McDowell 12, Brandon Lueders 8, Skyler Steele 3, Josh Friess 2, Braden Wendel 2, Luke Stevens 2. FG 18, FT 8-12, F 15. (3-pointers: McDowell 4, King 2, Steele 1. Fouled out: none).
SIKESTON (77) -- Vashawn Ruffin 24, Reese Porter 20, Markeith Bratcher 16, J.T. Jones 6, Kyland Gross 4, Zach Jackson 2, Cord Sheehy 2, Jeterrence Harris 2, Jairius Ray 1. FG 24, FT 14-22, F 13. (3-pointers: Ruffin 3, Bratcher 2. Fouled out: none).