The semifinals are set as top-seeded Dexter will take on No. 5 Doniphan -- which defeated fourth-seeded South Pemiscot in double overtime -- at 7 p.m. tonight. On the other side of the bracket, second seed Portageville will play No. 3 Twin Rivers at 8:30 p.m.
Dexter 65, Malden 61
Eighth-seeded Malden, which rotated five sophomores in the game at times, gave the Bearcats all they wanted but couldn't overtake the Bloomfield kings.
Malden led 13-10 after one quarter and led by as much as six early in the second quarter.
But Dexter went on a 10-0 run and never trailed again.
"We had no emotions out there tonight," said Dexter coach Eric Sitze. "We just kind of showed up and hoped we won the game I guess. They're very quick and not a bad ball team really. With the way we shot the ball against a zone, it's going to be a close game."
Dexter was just 15-of-28 from the free throw line and made just two 3-pointers.
Malden was able to cut the lead to one on four different occasions but never could take the lead.
Dexter (6-2) led 34-27 at the half but Malden steadily chipped away at the lead in the third quarter on some hot shooting, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Michael Simmons to cut the lead to 51-47 at the end of three.
Jordan Beaird scored a basket to cut the lead to 59-58 with 3:20 left in the game but the Bearcats were able to close out the game strong.
Chris Guethle answered with a short jumper to extend the lead to 61-58 with 3:02 left. Scott Admire and Derek Roberts each hit a free throw to push the lead to 63-58 with 22 seconds left.
Beaird buried a tough, off-balance 3-pointer with three seconds left to keep it interesting but Guethle sealed the deal with a pair of free throws with two seconds left to reach the final margin.
Malden hit seven 3-pointers led by Simmons' three from beyond the arc.
Malden was led by ultra-quick sophomore Alonzo Louis with 19 points. Quentin Gordon and Jonathan Henfling each had 10 points.
Dexter's Anthony Elfrink and Eric Rinehart tied for team-high honors with 16 points. Guethle followed up with 14 points.
Malden plays South Pemiscot at 4 p.m.
Doniphan freshman Charles Wilson hit a soft floater in the lane with less than 40 seconds remaining in the second overtime to push the Dons ahead for good, 61-59.
Wilson scored a game-high 28 points but none were bigger than his final bucket and two free throws seconds later to help hold off the fourth seeded South Pemiscot Bulldogs.
Despite foul problems, Doniphan's big man in the middle, Matt Rogers, was a force in the middle with 14 points and blocked a Bulldog shot late in the second overtime that set up Wilson's game-winning basket.
Anthony Jones and Jessie Brock led South Pemiscot with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Portageville lived up to its No. 2 seed in a battle of unbeatens as they had no trouble defeating No. 7 Van Buren.
The Bulldogs led 14-7 after one quarter and 37-17 at the half and were never challenged throughout.
Portageville (7-0) got a game-high 20 points out of all-state guard Willie Hassell. Jimmy Larry followed up with 13 points.
Van Buren will play Kennett at 5:30 p.m.
Twin Rivers led from the outset, taking an 18-9 first quarter lead. Kennett kept the score close but never seriously threatened the third-seeded Royals.
Twin Rivers was led by Michael Lance's 17 points.
Kennett was led by Alando Edwards' 13 points.
The Eagles (6-3) had no problem with the tournament host as they jumped on them from the get-go, leading 19-5 after one quarter.
Jordan Sanders led the way for East Prairie with 20 points. Freshman Tony Jones followed up with 17 points.
East Prairie will play Bernie at 2:30 p.m.
The Rebels out-scored the Indians 21-12 in the fourth after trailing 51-50 heading into the final frame.
Richland was led by freshman Matt Rich's 23 points, including five 3-pointers. Cameron Whittaker followed up with 16 points. John Griffin added 12 and Jackie Smith had 11.
Hayti was led by Antonio Robinson's 32 points and Rickey Jackson's 15.
Richland will play Puxico at 1 p.m.
In another exciting game, Bernie overcame a 60-50 fourth quarter deficit to force overtime where they out-scored East Carter 13-3 to stay alive in the consolation bracket.
For the second straight game, Bernie's Britt Arnold had a big day, scoring 37 points. Marcus Massey had 25 points and Doug Johnson added 14 points.
East Carter's Brett Baker and Brad Lewis each had 24 points.
The ninth-seeded Indians raced out to a 25-2 first quarter lead and eliminated No. 16 Greenville.
Puxico led 46-18 at the half and 63-27 entering the fourth quarter.
Puxico was led by Jonathan Helm's 15 points.