(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
DEXTER -- Dexter's recent offensive struggles continued Friday night as visiting Kennett sent the Bearcats away with a loss in their last home game of the regular season.
Honoring senior players and cheerleaders before the game, Dexter saw Kennett build an 18-point lead entering halftime before holding to win 72-50.
"We don't handle it very well right now," Dexter head coach Rob Nichols said. "We're not passing it well, we're not dribbling it well and we're seeing too many balls just thrown out of bounds.
"I can't put my finger on it, but we just don't look the same as we did a couple weeks ago."
Unlike the last time the two teams met in late December, where the Bearcats (13-10) led for the first three quarters before the Indians (18-4) pulled out a 58-48 win, Kennett took charge from the opening whistle.
Starting with a 13-6 run in the first five minutes of the game, the Indians ended the first quarter up 23-9 thanks to an Andy Lack 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 30 seconds left in the frame.
Dexter was able to score six straight points to start the second, led by a bucket and two free throws from Alan Flannigan, to close back within eight. However, starting with another Lack 3-pointer with 6:26 left in the half, Kennett rolled into the break.
Building their advantage back up to 13 at 36-23 with two minutes left before the break, Kennett went in to the locker room on a 7-2 run to go up by 18.
"We shot the ball well tonight," Indians' head coach Jim Vaughn said. "That sure does cure a lot of ills when you see the ball go through the net a few times."
While Dexter was able to keep Kennett from going on any big runs in the second half, erasing the Indians near 20-point lead proved too difficult a task.
Putting up 20 points for the third straight quarter, Kennett was able to push ahead by 22 at the end of the third quarter while holding the Bearcats to a 9-9 draw in the fourth quarter.
A big part of Kennett's strategy payed off in keeping Dexter's big man Alan Flannigan away from the ball. Scoring 12 points in the first half, Flannigan was held to 14 points total on the night while grabbing nine rebounds.
"You have to focus a whole lot on Alan Flannigan," Vaughn said. "What a special player he is. I thought our kids did a wonderful job of being aware of where he was, where he was cutting to and beating him to a lot of spots."
Nichols added the pressure on Flannigan forced the Bearcats into more outside shots.
"They really sagged in on him and really tried to force us to make some perimeter shots and not let him get the basketball (inside)," Nichols said. "I think we made two threes and they were both in the second half. We didn't shoot it very well."
Leading Kennett's cause was Randrick Caruthers who finished with 20 points, including 14 in the first half. Second on the team was Lack, hitting four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points.
Vaughn said the emergence Lack as of late has been a welcome addition to the Indians offense.
"He'll tell you, he's struggled all year long," Vaughn said. "He's found his stroke in the last couple of games and our kids recognize that and couldn't wait to throw him the ball again. That's the nature of our kids. When they see somebody's got it going well, there going to make sure we keep going back to that person."
KENNETT (72) -- Jay Shavers 6, Randrick Caruthers 20, Cameron Wallace 7, Fred Garmon 6, Jack Walls 7, Adam Grantham 2, Andy Lack 18, Jajuan Wallace 6. FG 27, FT 10-16, F 17. (3-pointers: Lack 4, Caruthers 2, Wallace 1, Garmon 1. Fouled out: none)
DEXTER (50) -- Jake Cox 4, Jordan Fitts 2, Bryn Hester 12, Alan Flannigan 14, Logan Robey 9, Jake Lee 1, Tyler Miller 5, Taylor Jarrell 3. (3-pointers: Robey 2. Fouled out: none)
Led by Kevonte Mitchell's 19 points, Kennett's junior varsity defeated Dexter 66-39.
Amon Wilbourn helped the Indians jump out to a 18-7 advantage entering the second,quarter, thanks to his six points in the first before, before the Indians pushed their lead to 14 to go into the half up 32-18.
Taking a 46-27 into the fourth, Kennett put up another 20 points in the period, thanks in part to Mitchell's five buckets in the frame, to seal the win.
Finishing close behind Mitchell's 19 points, Antavies Drake had 17 points on the game while Wilbourn and Antonio Primer both added eight to their team's cause.
For Dexter Brad Potts finished with a team-high 12 points, followed by Cody Neldon with nine.
KENNETT (66) -- Tyson Campbell 4, Kevonte Mitchell 19, Jay Edgington 2, Amon Wilbourn 8, Antavies Drake 17, DK Wallace 2, Antonio Primer 8, Divante Taylor 6. FG 31, FT 3-15, F 16. (3-pointers: Mitchell 1. Fouled out: none)
DEXTER (39) -- Cody Neldon 9, Kyle Willis 6, Jonathon Page 2, DJ Dowdy 4, Brad Potts 12, Ryan Joyner 2, Jordan Miller 4. FG 14, FT 10-18, F 14. (3-pointers: Neldon 1. Fouled out: none)