Dexter gives Hayti scare but falls 69-57 at Bloomfield
BLOOMFIELD -- Looking to stay alive in the hunt for the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament championship chase, seventh-seeded Dexter gave second-seeded Hayti quite a scare in Friday's quarterfinals.
Unfortunately for the Bearcats, a strong third quarter by the Indians resulted in a 69-57 loss that drops Dexter into the fifth-place bracket.
"I think we gave them all they wanted," Dexter head coach Rob Nichols said. "There in the late third, early fourth quarter their athleticism got to us. We'd been battling on the boards all night and they started getting more stick-backs then what they'd been getting.
"At the same time, I don't think our kids ever quit battling and that's what we're looking for."
Pretty much everything went right for Dexter in the first half as they got Hayti's two big men, Brandon Burden and Frankie Burden, Jr., in foul trouble early.
With a large part of their size advantage on the bench, the Indians saw Bearcat sophomore Cole Renken roam free in the paint before finishing the first period with 10 points.
Senior D.J. Dowdy added another seven points to Dexter's cause in the first quarter to help the Bearcats jump out to a 20-15 lead.
"Cole played well taking it at those guys," Nichols said. "We wanted to try and get those guys in foul trouble and getting to (Frankie Burden, Jr.), that was a big key trying to get him in foul trouble early. He was the one that really hurt us in the paint late in the third quarter."
An 8-3 run midway through the second quarter gave Hayti a momentary lead, but buckets by Noah Kronk and Austin Chesser had the Bearcats ahead by as many as three points with 1:05 left in the half.
It was a Brandon Burden's final basket of the half, with 46 seconds left, that closed Hayti back within a point, 32-31, entering the locker room.
"Both bigs right off the bat get two fouls each so we had to sit them down," Indians' head coach Phillip Taylor said of his team's first half troubles. "We were playing with a small lineup after that and to stay in the game the way we did I was very pleased with that."
Though Renken started the second half with a quick basket in the paint to push his team back out by three, a run of eight straight points by Hayti soon followed. The outburst put the Indians firmly in control of the game and a string of another six straight points late in the period pushed them ahead by as many as nine points.
Dexter still trailed by nine, 48-39, in the closing seconds of the third before a three-quarter court pass to Peyton Pollock set up a three-point play to close them within six entering the fourth.
A 10-4 run by Hayti three minutes into the fourth pulled the Indians away by a game-high 12 points with only five minutes to play. Still holding a double-digit lead in the final three minutes, Hayti went into clock-killing mode while going 7 of 8 at the free throw line to maintain an 11-point advantage with 1:22 to play.
A couple rebounds and a key Bearcat turnover in the final minute sealed Hayti's trip to the semifinals.
"The big thing was we held the ball, made them come out and foul us and hit free throws," Phillips said of the final minutes of the contest. "We're not known for free throw shooting and we go up and knock them down and keep it a double-digit game."
Demetrius Luster led the Indians' effort with a team-high 18 points while going 5 of 7 at the charity stripe. Frankie Burden, Jr. and Brandon Burden had 17 and 12 points respectively.
For Dexter, Renken finished with a game-high 19 points, scoring six straight points at one point during the first quarter to help the Bearcats grab a game-high 7-point lead.
Dowdy and sophomore Ethan Flowers finished with 13 points each, including Flowers hitting three of the team's five 3-pointers.
With the loss, Dexter falls into the fifth-place bracket where they'll face Twin Rivers Saturday at 5:30 p.m. It will be a chance for revenge for the Bearcats after falling to the Royals 53-25 earlier this season.
"I hope our kids are fired up and ready to play," Nichols said. "Twin Rivers is a good team that plays good defense and our kids need to come out and show better then we did a against them last time.
"We didn't feel like we played very well, but Twin Rivers had a lot to do with that and we're hoping for a better effort."
DEXTER (57) -- Noah Kronk 2, D.J. Dowdy 13, Peyton Pollock 8, Austin Chesser 2, Ethan Flowers 13, Cole Renken 19. FG 22, FT 8-12, F 21. (3-pointers: Dowdy 1, Pollock 1, Flowers 3. Fouled out: none.)
HAYTI (69) -- Kenyatte Brroks 9, Devan Riddick 2, Cedric Harris 3, Indaquel Presberry 8, Brandon Burden 12, Demetrius Luster 18, Frankie Burden 17. FG 24, FT 20-30, F 15. (3-pointers: Luster 1. Fouled out: none.)