(Pbotos by David Jenkins, Staff)
BLOOMFIELD - "The drive for five."
"Give them five."
Whenever teams put together a dynasty, there's usually a cute tag-line that goes with it.
The Dexter brass is probably working on theirs right now.
"It's a great accomplishment," said second-year Dexter head coach Eric Sitze. "We're proud of it. But we don't really go into the year focusing on that. We just happen to play pretty good at this time of year. We're glad to have it."
Dexter has won seven Bloomfield championships overall, which is also more than any other team.
In other tournament action, fourth-seeded Portageville captured third place with an 87-77 win over No. 6 Doniphan; No. 3 Kennett beat No. 8 Hayti 54-40 for fifth place; and No. 9 Malden won the consolation with a 54-46 win against No. 11 Bernie.
In a game that was every bit as lopsided as the final score indicates, the top-seeded Royals never seemed to have a chance.
Less than two minutes into the game, Dexter led 10-0 when Willie Dooley hit back-to-back 3-pointers, forcing Twin Rivers head coach Scott Kruse to call a time out.
"That's probably as good as we could've played tonight," said Sitze. "We came out on fire and that just gave us a real big lift. It was a very impressive start."
Less than two minutes later, Dexter led 15-0, prompting a second Royal time out with 4:49 left in the first quarter.
That's how things went for Kruse and the Royals as the lead swelled to 21 points when Chris Hyten scored on consecutive plays, including a spectacular reverse layup from a nearly impossible angle.
"Everything just went right," said Sitze. "It was just one of those nights. You can't explain it, just like when you have bad nights. Who knows? We'll take it."
Jared Deken's 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter minimized the damage briefly as Dexter led 27-9. The onslaught continued in the second quarter as the Bearcats led by as much as 30.
Another Deken 3-pointer with 1:27 left in the half made the halftime score 44-17.
The pace of the game slowed down some in the third quarter but the Bearcats still extended the lead to 62-31.
"We didn't do anything right and they did everything right," said Kruse. "When they didn't do things right, it still went their way."
Dexter (6-3) outscored the Royals 18-6 in the fourth quarter, with James Ford's layup at the buzzer marking the biggest lead of the night.
"We just let it get out of hand really quick," said Kruse. "We never had an answer. We didn't have an answer all night. It was four quarters of Dexter basketball. I don't want this to take away from what we did in the tournament at all. It's just tough to take."
It was Twin Rivers' fifth championship game appearance. They haven't won a championship since 1994.
"A lot of people in these stands don't know what it feels like to feel like this," said Kruse. "If you're going to compete long enough it's going to happen."
The Royals (9-2) were led by Robby Moore and freshman Michael Lance with nine points each.
Moore was selected to the all-tournament team.
Dexter had five players reach double figures led by Drew Wethington's 14 points.
Dexter's Hyten, Dooley and Preston Clark were selected to the all-tournament team.
In one of the Bulldogs' most impressive offensive showings of the year, Portageville put on a clinic for passing and cutting.
Scoring on several back-door layups and cuts to the basket, the Bulldogs were able to pull away from the Dons.
Doniphan cut the lead to 67-65 in the fourth quarter when Josh Hewett scored with 5:33 left.
But the Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to lead 73-65 and they never looked back.
The Dons (2-4) never got closer than four the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs out-rebounded Doniphan 37-24.
"We did a little better job on the boards tonight," said Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell. "We talked about not getting a single rebound in a quarter (Saturday versus Twin Rivers) and that's probably a first-ever for us. That's not acceptable, I don't care if you win or lose. You better at least get in there and battle and get on the boards. There in the end, I think that was the difference. We were able to come away with some big boards."
The Bulldogs led 22-20 after one quarter and 43-41 at the half. They extended the lead to 65-57 heading into the fourth quarter.
Portageville (6-3) was led by Willie Hassell's 23 points and Aaron Bidewell's 20 points.
Hassell also had six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Bidewell had 13 rebounds and four assists.
Both made the all-tournament team.
"I think early in the year Hassell and Aaron felt like they had to do it all," said Bidewell. "Not in a selfish way, but maybe feeling like they didn't have the confidence in the other kids. But the other kids have shown that they've stepped up and they're a little more quick to give it up. That's what we've got to have to win. We're just tickled to death to get third place and get something out of this tournament."
Antonio Scott added 19 points for the Bulldogs.
Doniphan was led by Danny Kellas with 23 points. Hewett added 14 points.
Doniphan's Kellas and Shayne Talburt were selected to the all-tournament team.
Kennett captured fifth place with a convincing win against Hayti.
The Indians led 15-4 after one quarter and were never threatened.
Kennett extended the lead to 27-14 at halftime and 42-27 entering the fourth quarter.
Tournament leading scorer Tyree Goolsby was held to 10 points. Cody Robinson and Brian Mitchell led the Indians with 13 points. Hayti was led by Dallas Winda's 13 points.
Goolsby and Hayti's Pete Peterson made the all-tournament team.
The Green Wave (4-4) overcame a 41-38 third-quarter deficit to win the consolation.
Malden out-scored Bernie 16-5 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win. The Green Wave was led by Jamall Kilgore with 16 points and James Farr with 13.
Bernie was led by Zach Dill with 15 points. He was selected to the all-tournament team.