BLOOMFIELD, Mo. - South Pemiscot Bulldogs head coach Aaron Bidewell had a good feeling about Friday night's championship quarterfinal contest at the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament against the Twin Rivers Royals minutes before it got underway.
"We came ready to play," Bidewell said. "Yesterday was the exact opposite. Puxico is well-coached and came out ready to play yesterday. Coach Boyd and I kind of looked at each other in warm-ups and said 'man our kids got a really good luck in their eyes.' Now we didn't sustain it as far as rebounds, but I was pleased with our kids being ready to play."
South Pemiscot doubled Twin Rivers on the scoreboard in the first period Friday after losing the first quarter to Puxico by 10 points in a first-round contest Thursday.
The Bulldogs led 14-7 after one quarter before Twin Rivers trimmed the margin to 25-24 by halftime.
The fourth-seeded Bulldogs also won the second half by one point against fifth-seeded Twin Rivers to secure a 51-49 win and book its spot in the championship semifinals.
"First of all we appreciate the team we played against," Bidewell said. "Coach Benson is a good friend of mine. I think he's done a great job the entire season. He's one of the quality young coaches in our area, no doubt, so any time you get a win against a guy like that who has a quality team and a quality player like Snider you count your blessings."
Twin Rivers missed two free throws with 10 seconds left that would have tied the game at 51 and a shot from near half-court at the buzzer that would have won the game.
"I thought we were gutsy," Bidewell said of the fourth quarter. "There were a few times I was upset because if we want to compete in our district at all we are going to have to take charges, no doubt. We just didn't do that tonight. As far as the fourth quarter goes, the Harris kid took two charges. I was proud of that. But other than that we've absolutely got to double our efforts and take charges more often. It's something we will work on in practice."
Anton Wilbourn led South Pemiscot in scoring with 15 points. Seth Harris finished second in scoring for the Bulldogs with 14 points. Logan Carter collected the Bulldogs' only trey on his was to a nine-point scoring total.
Wes McCollum led Twin Rivers with 15 points. Eric Ray and Michael Snider each calculated 13 points for the Royals.
South Pemiscot will take on top-seeded Kennett Saturday at 7 p.m. in a championship semifinal.
Bidewell is no stranger to Kennett's players or head coach.
"It's obviously a team we are familiar with," Bidewell, who served as the junior varsity head coach at Kennett in the 2010-11 season, said. "I respect their coach as much as anyone in our area. I was blessed to coach their varsity kids when I was there as a junior varsity coach. So I know how talented they are and how hard they work each day. We are just excited to be here and we will see what happens."
No. 4 South Pemiscot 51, No. 5 Twin Rivers 49
TRS 7 17 7 18 - 49
SPS 14 11 10 16 - 51
TWIN RIVERS (49) - Blake Moore 5, Nathan Ezernack 2, Michael Snider 13, Wes McCollum 14, Eric Ray 13, Cade Lowe 2. FG 19, FT 5/14, F 19. (3-pointers: Moore 1, Snider 1, McCollum 4. Fouled out: Moore)
SOUTH PEMISCOT (51) - Jarvis Johnson 6, Contrell Johnson 2, Anthony Primer 3, Anton Wilbourn 15, Logan Carter 9, Jaleel Johnson 2, Seth Harris 14. FG 21, FT 8/18, F 17, (3-pointers: Carter 1. Fouled out: none)