The Dexter Lady Bearcats blistered the Cape Central Lady Tigers 38-9 in the second half to post a 60-30 SEMO Conference home win on Thursday's Senior Night.
"What I was most pleased with was the fact that they took what I said at halftime, listened and responded to the adjustments," said Dexter coach Gavin Miller.
Dexter (18-5, 5-3) went in at halftime hanging onto a slim 22-21 edge.
"At halftime, we made some adjustments to double down (defensively) on the Zickfield girl and spread the floor on offense," added Miller. "I don't know what she ended up scoring, but I'm sure she scored more in the first half than she did in the second."
Central's 6-foot-2 freshman post Wendi Zickfield tallied all eight of her team-high points in the first half to help the Tigers stay close.
The Lady Bearcats opened an 11-4 lead in the first quarter, but the Tigers closed with a 9-3 run to tighten the margin to one at 14-13 as the period expired.
With Amanda Dooley matching Cape Central's production with eight points, the teams played even in the second quarter.
Then it all turned around in the third as the Bearcats erupted for 21 points while limiting the Tigers to just four.
Dexter knocked down four 3-pointers in the quarter, two each from Taylor Nelson and Molly Burleson. A 10-0 closing run vaulted the Bearcats to a 43
-25 lead going into the final stanza.
Said Miller, "Offensively, we really moved the ball much better in the second half."
But, it was the Bearcats' work on the defensive end that proved to be significant.
Cape Central was held scoreless for nearly a seven-minute stretch -- from 2:
52 to go in the third to about the 3:25 mark of the fourth quarter.
When Central finally lit the scoreboard again, Dexter held a commanding 50
Miller, encouraged by his team's execution of the second-half gameplan, said, "We've been trying to work on that a lot this year and sometimes they adjust and sometimes they don't. This was big for us to come in against a big school like Cape, which may be down a little bit, but, nonetheless, they still have athletes and we made the adjustments and got everybody involved in the game."
On this Senior Night, Dexter received strong production from its seniors. Senior Nelson scored 14 points, including three 3s, and also shared the rebounding lead with another senior Mallory Kennedy with five apiece. Senior Mindy Jones, who scored four points, keyed the defensive effort with a team-
leading three steals and senior Natalie Hayes chipped in with six points.
A fifth senior, Jessica Fowler, who fell victim to a torn ACL a couple of games ago, made an honorary start and left immediately after the opening tip.
Young players also contributed as sophomore Dooley led the Bearcats with 15 points and junior Burleson added 12.
"You always want to see, at the end of the year, your sophomores and juniors starting to step up," said Miller. "They are your leaders for next year."
Dexter shot effectively overall, hitting six treys and going 16-of-20 from the charity stripe.
A last-second 3-pointer by freshman Rita Walter proved to be the gamewinner in Cape Central's 44-43 junior varsity victory over Dexter.
Dexter closes out the regular season with an away game against Twin Rivers on Thursday, Feb. 16, prior to the tipoff of district play on Mon., Feb. 20.