(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- At times during Monday's basketball game it seemed as if Dexter's Alan Flannigan was taking on the entire New Madrid County Central team.
The 6-6 senior scored 41 of Dexter's 49 points on Monday night but it wasn't enough as NMCC used timely rebounds and balanced scoring en route to a 57-49 win.
"We just didn't get any offensive contributions from anybody else," Dexter coach Rob Nichols said. "Alan is a good player and he's going to get his points, but I'd rather him have 25 and have a few more guys have 15 and 12."
Flannigan scored 18 of Dexter's 20 first half points and followed that with 23 of the Bearcats' 29 second half points.
"You think we didn't guard but (Flannigan) hit some good shots and that's how good he is," New Madrid County Central coach Travis Day said. "It isn't like he was hitting open jump shots and layups underneath by himself. He hit a couple and-ones with players all over him but that is what players do."
While Flannigan was doing the scoring for Dexter, the stingy NMCC defense held the rest of the Bearcats to only two field goals in the entire game, both coming in the second half.
"I thought we defended well and even though Flannigan got his points I thought we did good not letting anybody else score," Day said.
The Bearcats came out flat right out of the gate and the Eagles took advantage, jumping out to an 8-2 lead thanks to G'Darius Stevenson who scored the first six points for NMCC.
The Eagles built up as much as a 14-3 lead in the first before Flannigan hit a shot near the end of the quarter to cut the lead to 14-5.
"We've been talking about coming out with good starts and I thought we came out with good energy," Day said. "We defended well early and we rebounded well early. I think a lot of G'Darius' points were offensive boards. But right now we are working on finishing and ending and playing a full four quarters."
Dexter mounted a comeback in the second quarter, slowly chipping away at the Eagle lead, culminating in a Flannigan 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the half that brought the Bearcats to within 23-20.
"We felt pretty good going in at the half only down three as poorly as we had played," Nichols said. "Then we came back out and started the second half the way we did the first. There was no change after halftime."
Dexter turned the ball over on their first five possessions of the third quarter and once again NMCC pounced, taking a 27-20 lead. Taylor Jarrell stopped the bleeding, scoring with 4:50 remaining in the quarter on Dexter's first shot of the half, but the Eagles built a 39-30 lead to end the quarter, helped by a total of nine Dexter turnovers in the third.
"In this SEMO Conference you might have a team down but you know they are going to make a run at you," Day said of how his team responded in the third quarter. "We did well at handling (Dexter's second quarter run) without panicking and then after that I don't think we let them get any closer than six."
NMCC continued to hold the lead in the fourth, capped off by an offensive stickback by JaShawn McDaniel followed by a Keith Holmes basket that gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the game at 47-35 midway through the fourth.
Three times Dexter got within six in the latter minutes but each time the Eagles responded with free throws to put the game away, beating the Bearcats for the fifth consecutive time.
"We just aren't going to beat anybody the way we played tonight," Nichols said. "We threw more balls in the stands than we did making an entry pass to the wing on the offense. A lot of it was unforced, we just threw it out of bounds.
"Give credit to New Madrid. They are having a rough season and could have just mailed it in but they didn't, they just came out and beat us."
NMCC was led in scoring by Stevenson who finished with 14 points while Kay McClachey added 11. Stevenson also led the Eagles with eight rebounds while McClachey had seven. Flannigan pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for Dexter.
"We played a whole lot better than what we've been doing," Day said. "On the offensive end we are finally being patient and waiting on the best shot possible. Usually a team will turn it over and we wouldn't score. I think every time they turned it over we actually got points off of it and that's a bonus to us."
NMCC (4-12) is back in action tonight when they host Poplar Bluff while Dexter (11-8) will travel to Advance on Friday.
DEXTER (49) -- Alan Flannigan 41, Bryn Hester 3, Jake Cox 2, Taylor Jarrell 2, Tyler Miller 1. FG 16, FT 15-22, F 16. (3-pointers: Hester 1, Flannigan 1. Fouled out: Cox).
NMCC (57) -- G'Darius Stevenson 14, Kay McClachey 11, Keith Holmes 8, Jamareia Jones 8, Lamonte Nelson 4, CJ Chism 4, JaShawn McDaniel 4, Datrae Hicks 4. FG 23, FT 10-17, F 15. (3-pointers: Holmes 1. Fouled out: none).
The Eagles won an exciting junior varsity contest as Corey Guest hit a contested 3-pointer as time expired to defeat the Bearcats 46-45.
A steal and layup by Dexter's Chase Young tied the game at 43-43 and the Bearcats took the lead with :25 seconds remaining on a shot from Ryan Joyner. However the Bearcats missed the front end of two one-and-one free throw opportunities, allowing for Guest's heroics.
Guest led NMCC with 13 points while Young led Dexter with 12.
DEXTER (45) -- Chase Young 12, Cody Neldon 8, Austin Richardson 2, Brad Potts 10, Ryan Joyner 4, Jordan Miller 9. FG 21, FT 2-10, F 10. (3-pointers: Miller. Fouled out: none).
NMCC (46) -- Corey Guest 13, Sherman Taylor 11, Jimmy Caldwell 5, Tevin Winfield 11, Brandon Ray 2, Darrin McGloson 4. FG 18, FT 7-10, F 16. (3-pointers: Guest 1, Caldwell 1, Winfield 1. Fouled out: none).
The Dexter freshman collected the Bearcats' only win of the night, defeating NMCC 34-23.
Holden Bruce and Devin Hampton each had eight points apiece to lead the Bearcats while Dre Wilson led NMCC with seven points.
DEXTER (34) -- Nick Noble 7, Cody Neldon 1, Jonathan Foels 3, DJ Dowdy 4, Holden Bruce 8, Stevie Payne 2, Devin Hampton 8, Myles Urhahn 1. FG 12, FT 9-17, F 6. (3-pointers: Noble 1. Fouled out: none).
NMCC (23) -- Dylan Milisits 2, Recco Philips 6, Dre Wilson 7, Deion Martin 6, Chad Moton 2. FG 11, FT 0-2, F 12. (3-pointers: Wilson. Fouled out: none).