NMCC won the contest with suffocating defense, crisp passing and by hitting the offensive boards. The Eagles forced Dexter into committing 18 turnovers, had 13 steals as a team, made 18 assists and 12 of NMCC's 31 rebounds were on the offensive end.
"Our effort on the floor tonight was superb," said NMCC head coach Lennies McFerren. "The team gave everything out there on the floor. The guys are working extremely hard and that is all you can ask for."
With the Bearcats up 9-6 in the first quarter, NMCC went on an 11-0 run to lead 17-9 with one minute left in the quarter. Dexter's Andrew Stuever stopped the bleeding for the Bearcats with a 3-pointer, to cut the Eagles lead to 17-12 at the end of the first.
Marquese Gates, a 5-foot-10 junior forward, played like a 6-3 player on the blocks for NMCC. Using quickness and jumping ability, Gates found openings in Dexter's 2-3 zone for eight points in the first quarter.
NMCC did not take care of the basketball in the second quarter, as Dexter forced the Eagles to commit six turnovers in the quarter. Dexter took advantage and outscored the Eagles 19-13 in the second to lead at the half, 31-30.
"We played well in spurts," said Dexter head coach Eric Sitze. "Then for some reason we just could not put the ball in the basket. The kids have got to learn to be consistent and keep our momentum going when we have a lead."
Satterfield led Dexter with 10 points in the first half. Eric Rinehart drove hard to the basket often in the half for Dexter and went to the charity stripe eight times, making seven. Rinehart finished the first half with nine points.
Gates paced NMCC in the first half with 12 points and six rebounds (three offensive). Jordan Kimball hit two 3-pointers in the half on his way to eight points.
The intense pressure defense played by NMCC started to take its toll on the Bearcats in the fourth quarter. The Eagles forced Dexter to commit three consecutive turnovers on offense and turned the turnovers into six straight points. NMCC stretched the lead to the biggest of the night at 15 points, 54
-39 with seven minutes remaining in the quarter.
Aaron Jackson settled down Dexter by hitting a clutch 3-pointer at 6:30 to cut the lead to 54-42. Jackson was big for the Bearcats from beyond the 3-
point arch, as Jackson drained three 3-pointers on the night.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Dexter started to creep back into the game. At 3:21 of the quarter, Satterfield grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for two points, to cut the lead down to six points, 58-52.
Jackson hit the third of his three 3's with two minutes left in the game and Dexter trailed 59-55.
Great passing by the Eagles continued late into the contest as Antonio McIntosh found Gates alone down in the paint for two, NMCC led 61-55.
After Rinehart of Dexter and Kimball of NMCC hit two free throws apiece for their respective clubs, Reggie Cole of the Eagles got a huge defensive rebound in traffic and drew a foul from the Dexter defenders. Cole went 1-
for-2 from the foul line to put NMCC up 64-57 with 47 seconds left in the game.
While Cole hit a free throw for the Eagles, Rinehart of Dexter missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and from the there, the air seemed to be sucked from the Bearcats.
The Eagles salted away the game from the foul line and earned the 67-61 victory over Dexter. With the victory, NMCC has won its third straight game.
"We played hard tonight and this is a big win at Dexter," said McFerren. "Dexter also played tonight and believe me, they can compete with anybody in the area. We are making strides and this is not the same team from the first five or six games of the year."
Kimball had a great overall game for NMCC with 23 points to lead the team, six steals, five rebounds and five assists.
"Jordan is passing real well as is the team," said McFerren. "Jordan is a leader and keeps the team together. Early in the season, the team had problems with looking for passes. Now, everybody is looking for that pass and we are getting better. Can't say enough about Jordan. He is such an unselfish player. He could average 20 points a night, but he keeps others involved in the offense to a fault sometimes."
Besides Kimball's five assists, McIntosh and point guard Terrard Long each had five assists for the Eagles.
Gates was a monster down low for the Eagles with 20 points and nine rebounds (five offensive). Cole scored 10 points off the bench for NMCC and had six rebounds.
Satterfield paced Dexter with 18 points. Rinehart finished with 17 points, seven rebounds (three offensive) and four steals. Jackson poured in 15 points and Andrew Stuever led Dexter with five assists.
Dexter finished with 25 rebounds (10 offensive), seven steals and 13 assists as a team.
"This will be a good learning game for the team," said Sitze. "This is the first time we have seen this type of pressure. It is good for the team to get used to it."
NMCC (5-10) will travel to Scott City on Tuesday to take on the Rams.
Dexter (6-10) received the No. 3 seed in the Stoddard County Conference Tournament and will play No. 6 seed Bloomfield at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. All tournament games will be played at Bloomfield High School.