(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- Dexter kept a tight lid on Notre Dame.
They held the Lady Bulldogs to 32 percent shooting, their leading scorer to two points and under 40 points for the fifth time this season.
The Lady Bearcats won their second straight Class 4, District 1 title on Friday night shrugging aside the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs 62-38 at the Sikeston Field House.
"I thought our girls worked extremely hard these past few weeks trying to prepare for Notre Dame," Dexter head coach Chad Allen said. "For the most part, I thought we did a really good job defensively."
It was a far cry from their latest game with Notre Dame, who escaped with a 52-51 win on Feb. 6. The Lady Bearcats (23-4) clamped down defensively keeping Notre Dame searching for ways to score.
"We learned that we had to get better at defense," Patterson said about their last game with Notre Dame. "We learned their weaknesses and our strong points and what we needed to work on. We had to watch their shooters more and transition defense was a big factor."
One of Dexter's main focuses came in slowing down Notre Dame's top scorer, Brooke Bohnert. Dexter limited Bohnert, who scored 22 points against Dexter last time, to just two points, which was scored with just one minute remaining and the Lady Bearcats up 60-38.
"We really tried to focus on Bohnert and (Summer) Burger and stopping them," Allen said. "Those are two great players and I just thought our girls were really focused and had a great defensive effort."
Every move Bohnert made, a Dexter defender was close by.
"They did a good job of shutting Brooke Bohnert down," Notre Dame head coach Renee Peters said. "They targeted her. When your leading scorer is held to two, that hurts."
Patterson and Harris, dominated the glass limiting the Lady Bulldogs to one shot and cleaning up on missed shots to put them back up for two.
Patterson, who was coming off of an 18-point performance against Ste. Genevieve on Thursday, scored another 18 by owning the paint.
"I feel like rebounding is my job," said Patterson. "Everybody has their certain roles and I know I have to step it up if we want to keep going farther."
Added Allen, "(Patterson) had a great game (Thursday) and she turned around and had a really good game. She's really stepped up her play and she's getting pretty hard to stop inside now."
Between Patterson and Brittany Harris, who stand at 6-0 and 5-11, there wasn't much room for Notre Dame to operate down low. Harris added 16 points.
"We don't have a lot of height and they did a good job of protecting the basket," Peters said. "Even though we had position a lot of times, they were clean rebounds for them. They had about eight inches on us. It was a well executed game on their part."
Notre Dame hung with the Lady Bearcats for most of the first half. An 8-2 run by Dexter had them up 17-11 after the first quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs cut it to two at the six minute mark in the second quarter after a bucket by sophomore Annie Siebert made it 17-15. But, a 10-2 run to end the first half had Dexter in prime position to pull away leading 27-17 at the half.
"Their shots were going in and ours weren't," Peters said. "Once they got a 7-10 point lead they did a great job of putting it away."
Dexter opened the second half with another 10-2 run which was capped off with a score from sophomore Erika Cobb for a 37-19 lead. The Lady Bearcats went on to outscore Notre Dame 15-11 in the third and held a 42-28 advantage going into the final eight minutes.
"We tried to make sure we came out with a lot of intensity in the second half and try to wear them down," Allen said. "I thought the girls did a great job against their press breaker. I thought we really took that away."
Shooting 7 of 8 (87 percent) from the floor in the fourth quarter, Dexter sank any hopes of a Notre Dame comeback.
Dexter sophomores Erika Cobb and Hannah Noe each chipped in eight points apiece while the Lady Bearcats shot 50 percent from the field and 15 of 18 from the free throw line.
Notre Dame, who will lose three seniors, was led by Burger's 12 and Siebert's nine.
Dexter (23-4) will play Park Hills Central at Mineral Area College on Wednesday at 6 p.m. during the Class 4 Sectional round.
NOTRE DAME (38) -- Miranda Fowler 5, Annie Siebert 9, Summer Burger 12, Shelby Beussink 8, Brooke Bohnert 2, Halle Lynch 2. FG 15 FT 7-12 F 14 (3-pointers: Fowler 1. Fouled out: none.)
DEXTER (62) -- Mollie Whitehead 2, Hannah Noe, Katelyn Frazier 2, Erika Cobb 10, Taylor Owens 4, Brittany Harris 16, Paige Patterson 18, Katie Reiker 2. FG 23 FT 15-18 F 12. (3-pointers: Cobb 1. Fouled out: none.)