DEXTER -- The inside-outside duo of Chris Carr and Chad Gill proved to be a winning combination for the Dexter Bearcats in Tuesday night's game against the Twin Rivers Royals.
Carr and Gill each had 21 points on the night, with Carr dominating inside and Gill canning three 3-pointers as the Bearcats won 68-59 to improve to 5-0 on the year.
The turning point of Tuesday's game occurred in the third quarter, when Carr and Gill scored 11 of Dexter's first 13 points of the half as the 'Cats outscored the Royals (5-2) took a 45-36 lead with 3:59 left in the period.
"That was the same story in the last game we played against Jackson," Dexter coach Eric Sitze said. "We had one good quarter and I didn't feel like we played as well as we could the other three quarters. We just need to put a whole four quarters together. But, if you can beat Twin Rivers, you're still doing something right."
The Royals could get no closer than six points the rest of the way, and no closer than eight in the final period.
In that fourth quarter, Carr put in six more points, including a two-handed slam dunk with 15 seconds left on the clock that added an exclamation point for the Bearcats.
"Carr's been playing really good for us every game," said Sitze. "He's taking the ball to the hole strong. So far the last two games, he's been more of a second-half player. He needs to get closer to the basket in that first half. He kind of gets pushed out there a little bit too far every once in a while. But, the second half, I thought he did a better job getting around the basket."
Meanwhile, Twin Rivers coach Scott Kruse was quite pleased with his team's effort in the loss.
"I'm proud of the kids," Kruse said. "As far as the effort and things like that go, that was our breakout game. We came to play. We gave an effort that no one in here could be disappointed in."
In the first half, the Royals rallied from a nine-point first quarter deficit, using a 13-1 run in the second quarter, taking a 23-21 lead on Brant Stewart's field goal with 4:28 left in the half.
The Bearcats rallied, as Chris Hyten scored the next five points to stake his team to a 26-23 lead with 2:40 remaining in the half, but Scott Wilkerson's 3-pointer 1:46 before the break reclaimed the lead for Twin Rivers at 30-28.
Wilkerson scored 11 points in the game, all in the opening half.
"He's capable of that every night," Kruse said of Wilkerson's performance. "He came out with a lot of energy. He came out working hard and getting rebounds. He's capable of that every night. When the energy's there, you usually see some results from him. I look forward to him getting better."
Dexter did not give up, evening the score at 30-30 on Preston Clark's free throws 1:02 before the halftime buzzer and going up for good on Carr's two foul shots 23 seconds later.
Dexter also won Tuesday's junior varsity game, defeating the Royals 68-53 as Dexter opened the game on a 16-0 run and never looked back. Josh Miller led the Bearcats with 28 points, while teammates Elfrink and Derek Demaree added 10 each. Norman Phillips led Twin Rivers with 13 points, while Jason Baucom and Brandon Lowe added 11.
Both teams play key games Friday evening, as Dexter hosts the 7-1 Poplar Bluff Mules, while the Royals open Ozark Foothills Conference play at home against Clearwater. Junior varsity games for both pairings tip off at 6 p.m., with varsity contests to follow.