The Bearcats struggled going 15 of 49 (30 percent) from the field as the No. 3 ranked team in the district, Notre Dame, upset the No. 2 seed Bearcats, 45-38.
"We played hard but throughout the game we just didn't execute," Dexter senior Alan Flannigan said. "We didn't get a lot going down low. We had to settle for outside shots. It was one of those nights where the defense was good and shots weren't falling."
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-2 run to start the first quarter, mostly in part to Dexter's numerous turnovers dealt by the Notre Dame's pressure defense. Notre Dame recorded eight steals en route to the early lead.
"We really felt like if we didn't turn the basketball over and got shots every time we came down the floor, we'd have a pretty good chance at winning the game," Dexter coach Rob Nichols said. "We just had several spurts of turnovers and a lot of them were unforced. You just can't do that this time of the year.
"A lot of their runs can be attributed to our turnovers."
Notre Dame's Nathan Meystedt, not standout Jacob Tolbert who the Bearcats held to four points in the first quarter, was the early antagonist scoring seven of his 13 points on three steals.
"We were really sagging down and doubling down on Tolbert," Nichols said. "Meystedt is a good penetrator and he was usually attacking the guy that was helping on Tolbert. He's quick enough and good enough that he can get around somebody on the dribble."
Although put in a somewhat deep hole, Dexter fought back to make it a 14-8 game at the end of the first. The Bearcats fought back long enough to actually take a lead in the last two and a half minutes in the second frame after a Jake Cox basket that made it 19-17.
Dexter ended up being tied with Notre Dame at the half, 19-19.
"We've done that at times throughout the year," said Flannigan. "We've had a lot of turnovers but still found a way to be in the game. We feel like as the game goes on, we get more in a rhythm and the turnovers will go down. That's very similar to what happened when we played them at Notre Dame."
Each team scored eight points in the third quarter making it another tie after the third, 27-27.
Tolbert made his presence felt in the fourth, however, scoring 11 of his team-leading 15 points on 3 of 4 shooting and 5 of 7 shooting from the free throw line, making the biggest difference in an 18-11 fourth quarter.
The Notre Dame senior scored the quarter's first five points giving the Bulldogs a 32-27 lead to start the fourth.
A 3-pointer by Dexter's Jordan Fitts and a free throw by Flannigan pulled the Bearcats to within one point two possessions later, but eight-straight points by the Bulldogs put Notre Dame in the driver's seat with just over two minutes left sealing Dexter's fate and their season.
"We didn't shoot it very well tonight, but you have to credit a lot of that to their defense," said Nichols. "Final score was 40-something to 30-something so, that's always going to be a combination of poor shooting and good defense."
Flannigan paced the Bearcats with 15 points and 17 rebounds while Cox and Tyler Miller each recorded seven points apiece.
"When we won games against good teams, we had at least two guys that were scoring well or else Alan just exploded," Nichols said. "I thought we guarded well all year, just offensively, it was our hang up this year."
Dexter ended their season with a record of 14-12 and will be graduating six seniors -- Flannigan, Cox, Bryn Hester, Logan Robey, Jacob Bollinger and Taylor Jarrell.
"All six of them are really good kids, some of the best we've had come through here," Nichols said. "They've represented our school well in the athletic field as well as in the classroom and the community.
"I'm proud I had the opportunity to work with them."
"It's been a lot of fun," Flannigan added, who will be joining Lafayette College in Easton Penn. after graduation. "I wouldn't trade it for anything. I wouldn't trade the guys I've played with for anything. I love all the coaches I've had, all the players I've played with. It's been a pleasure representing Dexter. I wouldn't have it any other way."
NOTRE DAME (45) -- Jonathan Lynch 4, Jordan Reddin 1, Nathan Meystedt 13, Alex Beussink 8, Jacob Tolbert 15, Cody Heisserer 4. FG 17, FT 8-15, F 11. (3-pointers: Lynch 1, Beussink 2. Fouled out: none.)
DEXTER (38) -- Jake Cox 7, Jordan Fitts 3, Alan Flannigan 15, Jacob Lee 2, Tyler Miller 7, Jacob Bollinger 4. FG 15, FT 5-7, F 14. (3-pointers: Cox 1, Fitts 1, Miller 1. Fouled out: none.)