Poplar Bluff girls limit Roosevelt to 11 points in season-opening win

Poplar Bluff’s Emma Johnson (33) looks to shoot against Roosevelt on Friday night, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Senior High Gym in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
DAR/Caleb Swallows

POPLAR BLUFF — The Poplar Bluff girls basketball team opened the season with a defensive gem Friday night.

The Mules kept Roosevelt off the scoreboard for the opening 13 minutes, 5 seconds and didn’t give up a field goal until the very last second of the opening half in a 68-11 win at the Senior High Gym.

Kiley Bess, entering her senior season already as the career scoring leader for the girls program, in the scored the first 10 points of the game and finished with 20, one of a dozen Poplar Bluff players to score. Keke Hardaway and Emma Johnson each added eight points while Sierra Sievers chipped in six for the Mules, who led 30-0 after one quarter.

Poplar Bluf’s Abby Turner (25) shoots Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Senior High Gym in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
DAR/Caleb Swallows

Poplar Bluff scored the first 42 points before a foul shot ended Roosevelt’s scoring drought.

“We jumped out there and played hard early and did things we were suppose to,” Mules coach John David Pattillo said. We just got up on them and asked our girls to execute what they were doing and we worked on a few things.”

Earlier this week, the Mules learned they were the third seed for the upcoming SEMO Conference Tournament to be held at Cape Central. Poplar Bluff will open against the host Tigers at 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2.

“Here’s the thing, until you go out and prove yourself, it doesn’t matter,” said Pattillo about the seeding.

“Yeah, I want them to be irritated that we got the third seed, you want them to be, but in reality that’s probably where we were.”

Notre Dame earned the top seed while Jackson is No. 2, awaiting the Mules in a possible semifinal matchup.

The Indians face seventh-seeded Dexter in the opening round.

Jackson beat Poplar Bluff three times last season, including the district final for a third straight season.

The semifinals will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3 with the finals set for Thursday, Dec. 5.

Pattillo said facing the host in the opening round will be a good test for his team.

“They’ll be jacked up, ready to play,” Pattillo said. “We just got to go in there and take care of our business.”

The Mules certainly did that Friday.

Bess scored just four seconds after tipoff with a fastbreak layin then knocked down a 3-pointer after a Roosevelt turnover before getting a steal. She scored off an inbound pass and sank 1 of 2 foul shots after a steal by Johnson. Hannah Bass poked the ball away and Katie Pattillo came away with it then set up Bess for a fastbreak layin for a 10-0 lead just two minutes into the game.

Down 12 following a putback by Sievers, the Rough Riders missed their first shot. They ended up missing a pair of free throws in the opening quarter and didn’t score until a foul shot with 2:55 left in the half.

Poplar Bluff, which forced 10 turnovers in the opening eight minutes, led 42-4 at halftime when Eddjana Wright knocked down a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Poplar Bluff’s team record for fewest points allowed is five done on two occasions, the last in 1995.

Roosevelt got another 3 in the final minute of the third quarter and trailed 60-9 heading into the fourth.

Poplar Bluff’s Hannah Corcimiglia chipped in five points while Tymber Colvin and Bass each scored four. Katie Pattillo, Alexis Richardson and Morgan Courtney each chipped in three points. Abby Turner and Casey Greenwall each had a bucket.

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