(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Dexter sophomore Hannah Noe grabbed the opening tip, took it straight at the goal and laid it in.
The rout was on.
The top seeded Lady Bearcats rolled over the Ste. Genevieve Hunters on Thursday night 76-32 to reach the championship game of the Class 4, District 1 tournament at the Sikeston Field House.
"Coming into this game we definitely wanted to try and put a lot of pressure on Ste. Gen and I thought the girls did a great job of that," Dexter head coach Chad Allan said. "We definitely scored a lot off of turnovers and wanted to try and make it a fast paced game."
Dexter has made it to the district finals eight of the last nine years and have won four titles while doing so. They will play the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs for the sixth time during that stretch owning a 2-3 record against them.
The Lady Bearcats (22-4) let their defensive pressure take its toll on the Hunters early and often. Dexter scored 10 of their 19 first quarter points off of turnovers. Frustrated by the Lady Bearcats' defensive tenacity, Ste. Genevieve committed 12 turnovers in the first eight minutes and 22 overall in the first half.
Dexter took a 19-7 lead into the second quarter.
Dexter's Paige Patterson scored 12 of her game high 18 points in the first half. The 6-0 sophomore battled both Ste. Genevieve's Jasmine Kuehn and Hanna Klein, who stand at 6-1 and 5-10 respectively, under the basket routinely winning the battle on rebounds and stick backs.
"I thought our girls did a really good job of shutting (Kuehn) down and limiting her inside," Allen said. "Most of their points really came from the perimeter."
The Lady Bearcats outscored Ste. Genevieve 22-8 in the second quarter and held a comfy 41-15 advantage at halftime.
Things continued the same for Dexter in the second half. The defending district champs began the third quarter with an 11-3 run and finished the quarter by outscoring the Hunters 23-9.
Dexter shot 7 of 11 from the floor in the third frame while forcing Ste. Genevieve into seven turnovers and 2 of 11 shooting.
Although their next game was against the Hunters, Dexter had been taking time to prepare for a possible rematch with Notre Dame this week. Their preparation for the Lady Bulldogs worked perfectly against Ste. Genevieve as the Hunters had 31 turnovers and shot 32 percent. Dexter was 45 percent from the field and coughed it up 14 times.
"We've really been working quite a bit on stuff against Notre Dame and trying to prepare for them," Allen said. "It's hard to somewhat get adjusted and try to prepare for a team a day ahead with Ste. Gen, but I thought the girls did a great job of that."
The Hunters we led by Abby Meyer's 11 points. Elle Korenak scored seven.
Dexter had four players in double digits with Patterson leading the way. Erika Cobb scored 12 while Noe and Alison Jarrell added 10 each.
The Lady Bearcats will take on Notre Dame, who defeated the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs 63-56 during the second semifinal game of the night, at 6 p.m. at the Sikeston Field House.
"We've worked on things that we've faced against them last time," Allen said about facing Notre Dame in the championship game. "We've been working on it for the last couple of weeks so the girls should definitely by prepared. Now, it's a matter of coming out and executing defensively and executing on offense."
Dexter has split with Notre Dame this season winning 65-57 on Nov. 28 and losing 52-51 on Feb. 6.
STE. GENEVIEVE (32) -- Elle Korenak 7, Paige Schmelzle 1, Morgan Grither 2, Hanna Klein 5, Abby Meyer 11, Jasmine Kuehn 6. FG 12 FT 5-8 F 16 (3-pointers: Meyer 2. Fouled out: none.)
DEXTER (76) -- Mollie Whitehead 5, Katelynn Frazier 3, Hannah Noe 10, Alison Jarrell 10, Erika Cobb 12, Taylor Owens 6, Brittany Harris 8, Paige Patterson 18, Brenda Bowers 4. FG 27 FT 17-22 F 9 (3-pointers: Whitehead 1, Jarrell 2, Cobb 2. Fouled out: none.)