Last week it was the Fountain City Classic at DeSoto High School. This week it was the SEMO Conference Tournament at Sikeston High School. The Cape Central Tigers have played six tournament games this season, and have won all six, bringing home two championship trophies along the way. The latest win came in the title game of the conference tournament at Sikeston, as the Tigers downed the host Bulldogs, 72-64.
The Bulldogs challenged all night. Playing on their home floor in front of their fans, and coming off an upset of #1 seeded Charleston, Sikeston would not back down. And it wouldn’t be until the fourth quarter that the Tigers would find separation. But they did. And that tells a person a lot about the start of the season that this team has had.
“We just try to take it one game at a time and continue to grow and get better as a team,” senior Doreante Tucker explained. “We’re going to build off this big victory and try to keep moving forward.”
After trailing by one after the first quarter, the Tigers surged back and took a 35-30 lead into halftime. Cape Central received scoring from just six players in the game, but Tucker (12 points), Cameron Williams (10 points), and Tyrus Reddin (9 points) led the charge in the first half. Williams scored all ten of his points in the second period, and it seemed as if the Tigers had seized momentum.
But the home team got hot in the third quarter. The Bulldogs hit four shots from beyond the arc, and also added four free throws. CHS found itself down 52-50 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Tigers had made no trips to the free throw line the entire game, but in the fourth quarter, timely free throw shooting would help make the difference. Tucker would hit four of five from the charity stripe, and Dorian Triplett would also get a free throw. Meanwhile, Tucker would net eight points, while Triplett countered with seven, and Cape Central outscored Sikeston 22-12 to take the eight point victory.
This is the first time the Tigers have ever won the tournament. Seniors Tucker and Reddin led the way with 22 and 17 points respectively. The freshman Williams added 14, while Dorian Triplett and Darian Triplett contributed nine and six points each. Anthony Mackins chipped in with four.
The team gets to take a breath now, not playing again until this coming Friday, hosting Farmington in its league opener at 7:30 p.m. Then it will participate in the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament beginning on December 26.