Lady Bulldogs can't find the edge against Park Hills 56-29

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Sikeston's Ariana Beard (30) gets tangeled with Park Hills' Sydney Skaggs for a loose ball Monday, Feb. 24, at the Sikeston Field House. (Chris Pobst Photo)

sports@standard-democrat.com

SIKESTON -- Both the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs and Park Hills Central Lady Rebels were looking for an edge.

Not against each other, but against a potential playoff competitor who is a favorite to reach the Class 4 state tournament.

Sikeston suffered a 56-29 defeat at the hands of Park Hills Monday at the Sikeston Field House while they both gear up for their respective district tournaments, which each start on Saturday.

If things go the way they each want them to, both Sikeston and Park Hills could potentially meet with the reigning Class 4 fourth place Dexter Lady Bearcats.

Monday night's game was a bit of a tuneup for each team.

"We know down here that basketball is a lot better than it is in our area," Park Hills head coach Josh Mapes said, whose team is seeded first in the Class 4, District 2 tournament and would meet Dexter in the sectional round. "There's some really good teams in this area. Dexter's a really good team and if we win our district, we know they may be there for us to play."

Sikeston's Mikala Nichols looks to pass as Park Hills' Jensen Uding (24) defends Monday, Feb. 24, at the Sikeston Field House. (Chris Pobst Photo)

The Lady Bulldogs will take on Dexter two days before their district journey begins. Their final regular season game will be at the Bearcat Event Center on Thursday where they will see the Class 4, District 1 No. 1 seed firsthand.

"We knew that this week was going to be very, very tough," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "But, it's a good test to see where we are at going into districts. Park Hills and Dexter kind of play the same way and, obviously, there's some things that we're needing to fix."

The Lady Rebels were able to take advantage of a transition game that Sikeston usually controls. Numerous times throughout, Park Hills, who feature a lengthy, quick team, beat Sikeston downcourt for uncontested layups.

When that didn't work, the Lady Rebels utilized their height advantage and forced the ball inside.

"They're big, athletic and quick," Schonhoff said. "I thought they looked for each other very, very well and it seemed like we were a step slow. They were able to get whatever path they needed to get their shot. That gave us some problems."

Sikeston's Mikala Nichols (22) attempts a shot as Park Hills' Jensen Uding (24) looks on Monday, Feb. 24, at the Sikeston Field House. (Chris Pobst Photo)

Park Hills (23-1) raced out to an 11-4 lead which forced a Sikeston timeout midway through the first quarter. By quarter's end the Lady Rebels continued to beat Sikeston in transition and kept the Lady Bulldogs scoreless for a 17-4 advantage heading into the second frame.

"Any type of missed shot we had we were sucked too far in," said Schonhoff. "They beat us on the run outs and everything. They got to the hole pretty quick."

Running the floor has been a useful tool for the Lady Rebels, whose only loss was to Dexter in late January, all season long.

"We score a lot of points off our press and a lot of points in transition," Mapes said. "We try not to run too much half court offense because we're not very good at doing it, really."

Twice, Sikeston (13-11) pulled within 12 points in the second quarter but that's the closest they would come as the Lady Rebels extended their lead to 29-12 at halftime.

"Playing a tough team can only make us better," Sikeston senior Mikala Nichols said, who played her last career home game on Monday. "We didn't communicate. It's just another lesson learned because Dexter will do the same thing. We just have to move forward."

Sydney Skaggs led Park Hills with 13 points. MacKenzie Jones added 10 while Megan Skaggs and Olivia Casey each added nine.

Sikeston, who had won five straight before Monday, was led by Nichols who scored nine. Tyra Bonner added six.

Sikeston, who is their districts' third seed, will travel to Dexter Thursday for their final regular season game before taking on No. 6 Perryville in the first round of the Class 4, District 1 tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Park Hills17121512--56
Sikeston48116--29

PARK HILLS (56) -- Peyton Caldwell 3, Mackenzie Jones 10, Abigail Fischbeck 6, Sydney Skaggs 13, Megan Skaggs 9, Kayla McCain 2, Jensen Uding 2, Breeanna Seaton 2, Olivia Casey 9. FG 22 FT 9-20 F 5. (3-pointers: Casey 3. Fouled out: none.)

SIKESTON (29) -- Kiera Steward 5, Dominique Roach 3, Tyra Bonner 6, Mikala Nichols 9, Erica Peet 2, Ariana Beard 2, Alana Basham 2. FG 13 FT 1-5 F 14. (3-pointers: Steward 1, Nichols 1. Fouled out: none.)

Junior Varsity

Park Hills 37, Sikeston 27

The Sikeston junior varsity lost 37-27 to visiting Park Hills Monday at the Sikeston Field House.

Larysa McClellon led the Lady Bulldogs with nine points.

Park Hills was led by Madelynne Hart's 12 and Breeanna Seaton's 11.

Park Hills96139--37
Sikeston41049--27

PARK HILLS (37) -- Alexus Groom 3, Jessica Shockley 2, Kayla McCain 7, Jensen Uding 1, Breeanna Seaton 11, Peyton Bradley 1, Madelynne Hart 12. FG 13 FT 10-23 F 10. (3-pointers: Hart 1. Fouled out: none.)

SIKESTON (27) -- Zayteanna Williams 4, Antravia Green 3, Alexis Boyd 5, Takilia Scott 4, Larysa McClellon 9, Madeline Witt 2. FG 10 FT 7-11 F 15. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Scott.)

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