Entering Friday's game against Advance, the Bearcats had won eight straight and with a win over the Hornets could inch closer to the regular season title in the Stoddard County Activity Association.
Led by Tyler Miller's game-high 24-points, Dexter was able to push past the Advance 75-47 to give the Bearcats their longest winning streak since the 2004-2005 season, improving their conference record to 6-0 with Bell City up Tuesday.
"We were aggressive against their press in the first quarter and got some easy looks and built that big lead," Dexter coach Rob Nichols said. "Then we started settling and trading baskets a little bit.
"We were playing too fast and had some turnovers, but all in all I was real pleased with their effort. They tried to execute all night and played really hard."
Holding a 14-point lead at the half, Dexter pushed ahead by as many as 18 in the early stages of the third quarter.
Rattling off six straight points, however, the Hornets were able to close back to within 12 of the Bearcats, at 48-36, with 3:13 left in the frame.
Responding to the stoppage in play, Dexter (12-9) came back out and took 14 of the final 17 points scored on the quarter with an Advance (12-8, 4-1) turnovers allowing Chase Young to go in for an uncontested layup just before the buzzer.
"We had changed defenses several times," Nichols said of his team's surge. "Right there in the middle of the third quarter we got several turnovers just out of playing a zone.
"We'd switch back and forth between man and zone about every two or three possessions. It seemed to give (Advance) some trouble."
With Young's above-mentioned basket giving his team a 62-39 advantage entering the final frame, Dexter continued to push toward the turbo-clock as a pair of Hornet turnovers to start the frame led to three straight Dexter buckets.
It was with 6:26 to play that Young put in one last layup to activate the running clock as part of a 7-0 Bearcat run.
"This is our first game back from the (SCAA) tournament and boy was it sloppy," Advance coach Andrew Halford said. "We didn't do bad in the county tournament and we were looking forward to coming out here and getting a chance against the two-time Stoddard County champs, to do something against them.
"We just came out flat and turned the ball over way too many times."
Before the fourth quarter letdown, Halford's team had fought itself back into the contest despite a dismal six minutes of the game as the Hornets trailed 20-4 just six minuted into the game.
Trailing by 15, at 25-10, to start the second quarter, Advance was able to open the frame on a 6-2 rally as the Hornets closed to within 10 on a Ethan Barr put-back with three minutes left in the half.
It was a 9-4 run by Dexter in the final minutes before the break that left the Hornets trailing by 14-points going into the locker room.
"There were times in the first half where I didn't think we played real well," Nichols said. "But right at the start of the first quarter we played pretty good and to end the first half, in the last three minutes, we played real well."
In defeating Advance, the Bearcats hand the Hornets their first conference loss of the season while moving to within one win of Stoddard County Activities Association regular season championship.
"We play Bell City here on Tuesday night," Nichols said. "If we can win that game we'll be 7-0 and have the regular season and tournament championships.
"That's something that's good for our seniors."
ADVANCE (47) -- Tyler Middleton 2, Hunter Wilson 12, Lane Below 12, Trey Wallace 4, Curtis Gilliland 4, Ethan Barr 13. FG 18, FT 9-11, F 19. (3-pointers: Wilson 2. Fouled out: Gilliland.)
DEXTER (75) -- Chase Young 10, Tyler Miller 24, Jordan Fitts 11, D.J. Dowdy 4, Jonathan Page 2, Brad Potts 4, Jake Lee 12, Cody Neldon 8. FG 30, FT 10-18, F 16. (3-pointers: Miller 4, Fitts 1. Fouled out: none.)