(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- Dexter's Sammy Waldner says she loves physical games and Tuesday night against Jackson, she felt right at home.
In a game that featured 37 fouls and bodies on the floor on seemingly every possession, Waldner came off the bench for Dexter and sparked the Lady Bearcats to a 50-36 win.
"I think it is so much fun," Waldner said of playing in physical basketball games. "I like to get on the floor with the other team and just go after it."
Waldner scored seven points for the Lady Bearcats, but more importantly pulled down 10 rebounds while helping to force numerous Jackson turnovers.
Dexter needed those turnovers after falling behind 17-12, midway through the second quarter. However, Dexter's 1-2-2 press started to create havoc and the Lady Bearcats went on a 12-0 run to finish the half.
"I thought our 1-2-2 halfcourt press was very effective in the second quarter and the girls did a great job in it, got quite a few steals and then we converted off the steals," Allen said.
Converting off of the steals was important as both teams had trouble scoring the entire game.
"Jackson really plays some great man-to-man defense," Allen added. "It was hard for us to get any looks. We had to earn every look. It was a little like a football game, they let us play."
"We just got manhandled," Sides said. "We got thrown around like yard dogs and that's the way its been the last three or four games. We cannot get to the free throw line and we just cannot get a foul call against the other team."
Dexter continued to add on points in the third quarter building a 31-19 lead after a Waldner basket but Jackson ended the quarter on a 9-4 run.
"We had much more intensity this game than we had the last two," Sides said. "For some reason we just aren't shooting the ball well. We had great effort, we just didn't execute very good."
Dexter (14-3) ended any thoughts of a Jackson comeback by going on a 7-1 run to start the fourth quarter and allowing Jackson only one basket from the field in the final frame.
However, with the game in the final minutes and the outcome decided, Waldner was still on the floor diving after every loose ball.
"I thought I played a pretty good defensive game," Waldner said. "I got bumped around a lot, but I'm pretty satisfied with how I played."
And her efforts were noticed by her teammates.
"We were relying on a lot of other girls that stepped up and did real well tonight" said Dexter junior Ashlee Taylor. "Everybody was really proud of Sammy tonight. She really stepped up and got a lot of steals for us."
As a team Dexter forced 27 Jackson turnovers, but Sides wasn't impressed with the Lady Bearcat defense.
"I didn't think their defense was very good to be honest," Sides said. "We went right through it and then got hit, elbowed and we missed shots. It was a real physical game and I didn't think we got a break."
Katelyn Heil led Dexter in scoring with 14 points to go along with her four rebounds and six steals. Taylor added 12 points and eight rebounds while Cathryn Heil finished with seven points.
"Cathryn Heil has been playing really well for us and hopefully she'll keep playing well because we'll need her down the road," Allen said.
Jackson (9-7) was led in scoring by Ashten Howard's 15.
Dexter will be back in action Thursday when they travel to Charleston to take on the Lady Bluejays.
Jackson won the junior varsity game 44-23.