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District champs: Dexter rallies to claim championship

Monday, February 25, 2008

(Photo)
Members of the Dexter Lady Bearcats basketball team celebrate after winning the Class 4, District 1 championship
(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
Lady Bearcats erase halftime deficit, then shave coach's head

PERRYVILLE -- Before the season, the Dexter Lady Bearcats made a deal with coach Chad Allen that if they won districts the team could shave his head. Today the coach is bald after Dexter's 47-41 win over Fredericktown in the Class 4, District 1 finals Saturday afternoon.

"It is definitely a good thing to get your head shaved for winning districts," Allen said while the girls took turns shaving his head. "I made that deal with them so here I am getting my hair cut."

Dexter almost didn't get a chance to get out the clippers as Fredericktown held a 34-32 advantage with 6:26 to play in the game, setting the stage for point guard Jill Temples. The junior hit a 3-pointer to put Dexter ahead 35-

34 and after a Fredericktown basket by Megan Moser, Temples drained another 3-pointer to put Dexter ahead for good 38-36.

(Photo)
Dexter's Jill Temples drives around Fredericktown's Courtney Kemp
"She's been doing that all year," said Dexter's Katelyn Heil. "That's why she's our point guard. When we go through the hard times, she keeps her head and she did great."

Fredericktown coach Lonny Sheldon said Temples' 3-pointers put a strain on the their defense.

"The point guard Temples got hot and really made a big difference," Sheldon said. "We knew we had to guard (Katelyn) Heil obviously and it spread us out a little thin when we had to try to guard both of them. That's credit to them because they still stepped up and made the shots."

Dexter built a 43-36 advantage but Fredericktown made one last run, cutting the lead to 43-41 with 55 seconds remaining. However Dexter ran their delay game until Katelyn Heil was fouled with 23 seconds left on the clock. The junior stepped to the line and hit both free throws, sealing the game for Lady Bearcats.

"I just told myself to take a deep breath, breathe and hit them," the junior said. "It was a crucial time."

(Photo)
The Dexter Lady Bearcats display their Class 4, District 1 championship plaque after their 47-41 win over Fredericktown
"(The girls) stepped up, especially in the last four minutes and that's when we made our big run," Allen said. "I'm proud of them. They've worked hard all year and this is one thing they wanted to do, it was one of their goals and they got the job done."

It looked like it might be an easy night for Dexter as the Lady Bearcats jumped out to a 8-0 lead in the first quarter, sparked by two 3-pointers from Katelyn Heil but Fredericktown cut the lead to 13-10 by quarter's end.

The Lady Blackcats zone defense continued to cause Dexter problems in the second quarter as Fredericktown built as five-point lead at 23-18.

"In a way I was almost wanting to play Notre Dame more than Fredericktown because I knew they would slow it down and they are very patient offensively," Allen said "Playing that 2-3 they packed it in and slowed us down. I knew that would cause us some problems."

Another thing that caused Dexter problems was foul trouble as Katelyn Heil and Ashlee Taylor both spent considerable time on the bench. However, several others stepped up, including Temples who finished with a game-high 18 points.

"We were very motivated," Temples said. "Last year we came in and lost (in districts) and everybody was crying and we knew we didn't want to be the ones doing that this year."

"We have to step up when Kaitlyn and Ashlee get in foul trouble and we just did what we could," said Cathryn Heil, who had several key steals in the game. "We decided it was do or die time. We either stepped it up or we weren't going to be able to go on. We really wanted this so we worked our butts off."

Dexter also got 13 points and seven rebounds from Katelyn Heil and 11 points and seven rebounds from Taylor.

Fredericktown (20-6) was led in scoring by Courtney Kemp's 12.

"The opportunities were there," Sheldon said. "We missed too many free-

throw opportunities in the first half, obviously. In the second half, at critical times, I thought we turned the ball over, when we would have had opportunities to score."

With the win, Dexter (22-4) will take on Farmington at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Mineral Area Community College. Farmington defeated Festus 70-32 Saturday in the Class 4, District 2 finals.

"We're excited," Katelyn Heil said. "We're going to go back to the gym (Sunday) and we're going to start working again and hopefully we have a better game."

One thing they won't have is a coach with hair.

"We're hitting him with just the razor today," Taylor said. "He's going skinhead (Sunday)."