The Bearcats looked to change their fate on Tuesday, but the Jackson Indians had other plans, eliminating Dexter from the tournament with a 70-50 win in the consolation semifinals on Tuesday night.
After falling behind early in the first half, the Bearcats began a charge late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter that appeared to have them back in the game. Trailing 31-16 with just under four minutes to play in the first half, Dexter outscored the Indians 12-2 to finish the quarter, ending with a 3-pointer from senior Jordan Fitts as time expired, cutting the Jackson lead to 33-28.
"The big thing I was disappointed with was the last minute of the (first) half," said Jackson coach Darrin Scott. "We've been so bad taking care of the basketball in the last minute of a quarter. We take quick shots and give them easy shots."
Dexter built off of that momentum in the third quarter, trading baskets with Jackson until Fitts scored with 4:17 to play, slicing the Jackson lead to 40-36. However the Indians called timeout and put a renewed emphasize on getting the ball inside to take advantage of their distinct size advantage.
The move payed off as Jackson finished the quarter on a 15-2 run, including eight points from 6-5 sophomore Karson King, who finished with a game-high 19 points.
"(Karson's) got good length and can hit a mid-range jumper and can shoot the three," Scott said. "I was happy tonight that he scored and when he scores that's great but what we need from him is leadership on the floor and taking care of the basketball."
Jackson's Caleb Newcomer ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer from the corner, putting Jackson comfortably ahead 55-38 heading into the final frame.
"They were able to slow it down a little bit and pound it inside against us a little more," said Dexter coach Rob Nichols of the Jackson run. "They were more aggressive around the rim. We had kind of lulled them into a full-court game and they were shooting a lot of perimeter shots and that's when we made our run, but then then they slowed it down and started going to the basket."
The final quarter was more of the same as Jackson continued to pound the ball inside, building as much as a 70-41 lead before Dexter scored the final nine points of the quarter.
"We did some good things offensively at times but I thought defensively we played very poorly," Nichols said. "We gave up a lot of easy baskets both on offensive rebounds and drives to the rim. We've got to get better defensively, that's for sure."
Dexter, who fell to 1-11 all-time in the tournament and to 0-4 on the season, came out slow and fell behind early in the fourth quarter as Jackson opened the game on a 14-4 run.
Jackson led 19-10 after the first quarter before building their lead to 31-16 midway through the second quarter before Dexter mounted their charge.
"We were kind of flat at the start and we expended a lot of energy getting back into the game," Nichols said. "A lot of times when you get down big and get back into it that energy's just not there. Then the other team fights back and makes that run."
Jackson put three players in double figures, led by King's 19. Luke Stevens finished with 15 while Josh Meyer finished with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Dexter was led by Tyler Miller's 13 points while Fitts finished with 12. Brad Potts had a team-high seven rebounds.
Jackson will now play the winner of the New Madrid County Central and Poplar Bluff consolation semifinal that will be played at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Poplar Bluff fell to Cape Central in a first round game 55-33 on Thursday night.
Cape Central will play Charleston in a semifinal game at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday while Sikeston will take on Notre Dame at 7 p.m. in the other semifinal game.
JACKSON (70) -- Josh Daume 5, Caleb Newcomer 9, Braxton McDowell 3, Ryan O'Rear 2, Skyler Steele 2, Calvin Lysell 2, Karson King 19, Josh Meyer 11, Josiah McGuire 2, Luke Stevens 15. FG 31, FT 4-9, F 14. (3-pointers: King 2, Newcomer 1, McDowell 1. Fouled out: none)
DEXTER (50) -- Chase Young 6, Tyler Miller 13, Jordan Fitts 12, DJ Dowdy 5, Brad Potts 4, Jake Lee 8, Cody Neldon 2. FG 20, FT 6-15, F 9. (3-pointers: Young 1, Miller 1, Fitts 1, Dowdy 1. Fouled out: none)