CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The Dexter Bearcats lost the game to the favored Notre Dame Bulldogs, but it was the way they lost that upset coach Chris Trimmer.
"Honestly, this is the first game this year that I'm truly disappointed," said Trimmer, whose Bearcats fell to 3-7, 0-4 in the SEMO Conference. "Now this team was clearly better than us, there's no doubt about that, but there is no excuse for not hustling 100 percent every second you're on the floor. What we've been doing every game this season was absolutely not there tonight."
Dexter was never in the contest as host Notre Dame ran away 76-43 for a SEMO Conference win on Thursday.
The Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0 in conference) led 7-0 out of the gate, with 6-foot sophomore Austin Greer scoring all the points inside, and went on to a 23-9 first-quarter lead.
While getting the vast majority of their points off fastbreaks or easy baskets in the paint, Notre Dame led 52-25 at the half.
"We designate players whose first responsibility is to drop back and stop the fastbreak," said Trimmer. "I designated three guys and, it didn't matter who I designated, none of them got back to stop the break."
Greer led the Bulldogs with 19 of his game-high 24 points in the opening half and 6-7 junior Ryan Willen added 13 of his 18 total. Ty Williams chipped in with 14.
"He (Greer) finishes around the basket well, but he also gets a lot of trash baskets because they have to guard Willen," said Notre Dame coach Paul Hale.
Dexter's primary source of offense was junior guard Kevin Hart, who scored a team-high 19 points, 15 in the first half. No other Bearcat reached double figures.
Hale called off the 'Dogs in the second half, abandoning the press.
"The first half, we played well offensively because we're better when we press and we didn't press at all in the second half," said Hale. "We're not a half-
court ballclub. We have to play helter-skelter and that's just the way we play."
Said Trimmer, "If Coach Hale hadn't been kind to us, it could have been much, much worse."
Dexter, playing without, arguably, its best player Drew Satterfield, who quit the team last week, trailed 70-38 after three quarters, triggering a running clock in the fourth.
Notre Dame also won the junior varsity game, 75-54.
Dexter meets Woodland tonight.
"I don't know if we were conserving energy because we thought we had a better chance to win against Woodland," said Trimmer, "but if we play like we did tonight, we'll lose that game, too."
Notre Dame faces Parkway South at the Cape Central Shootout on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.