Dexter routs Battle 75-31 to earn second straight trip to Columbia
FARMINGTON -- This time last year Dexter senior Alison Jarrell could only watch as her teammates sealed their first trip to the Class 4 final four with a win over Rosetta-Kain in the quarterfinals.
Having suffered a knee injury in the final game of the regular season, Jarrell would sit out the entire postseason as Dexter marched to a fourth-place finish.
It was only fitting that on Saturday with her team in the same situation against Battle, Jarrell hit a game-opening three that set the tone for another dominant performance by the Lady Bearcats.
Jarrell finished with 14 points while fellow senior Hannah Noe scored a game-high 23-points in a 75-31 rout of the Spartans that propels Dexter back to the final four for the second straight year.
"It definitely loosened things up," Jarrell said of hitting her first shot. "I've been so tight thinking, 'we have to get back, we have to get back (to the final four). Me and coach (Eric) Sitze sat down and he said you just have to let the game come to you.
"I felt like we really did that tonight. We didn't have hardly any turnovers and we executed everything really well."
Jarrell's opening shot ignited a 13-0 run by the Lady Bearcats, who went on to take a 21-2 advantage just five minutes into the contest.
On their way to outscoring Battle in all four quarters, Dexter led 25-7 after the first period and held the Spartans without a field goal until only 2:48 remained in the first half.
Other than a pair of baskets late in the second quarter, the Spartans only way to make a living was at the free throw line. Dexter sent them there often, where they converted on 17 of 23 opportunities in the first half to stay within 20 points, 41-21, at the break.
"We shouldn't have fouled as much," Noe said of sending Battle to the line so often. "That was one of our weaknesses and we talked about that. They weren't going left very much so we mainly said get on their right side and make them go left.
"We got a lot of fouls there, but we focused in on that right side because they weren't very good with their left hand."
Coming out in the second half Dexter adjusted and sent the Spartans to the line for just four attempts in the final two quarters. They opened the third quarter scoring 20 straight points as part of a 23-1 run.
Battle wouldn't get it's first bucket of the half until only 17 seconds remained in the third and went into the fourth quarter trailing by 39 points, 66-27.
Dexter pushed their lead well over 40 points in the final period as they cruised to a turbo-clocked win.
"Coming out in the second half we knew they were getting tired," Lady Bearcats' head coach Chad Allen said. "I think that constant pressure coming out in the third quarter really got to them and we extended our lead.
"I was a little worried coming out in the second half that we might pick up some more fouls and get in foul trouble even more, but we did better job of adjusting defensively."
Despite dominating Battle in most areas, Dexter lost in rebounds 28-23, but made up for it by forcing 38 turnovers with the Spartans only causing nine. This included 13 steals with sophomore Makayla Waldner coming away with a game-high four.
Of Noe's 23-point effort, 17 came in the first half while she added five rebounds and three assists to her teams' cause. She shot 7 of 18 (39 percent) from the field, but was a more accurate 6 of 13 (46 percent) inside the arc and 8 of 10 at the charity stripe.
Jarrell's 14 points included a game-high four 3-pointers. She went 4 of 10 outside the arc and 5 of 12 (42 percent) overall, contributing three steals and a block in the process.
"With her sitting out last year during all the playoffs I'm sure she was really excited and ready this year," Allen said of Jarrell. "She hit some big threes for us tonight. A lot of them were in crucial moments. She did a great job."
Waldner and senior Erika Cobb had nine and eight points respectively. Senior Paige Patterson and Dakota Reynolds scored seven points each.
As a team Dexter shot 27 of 58 (47 percent) from the floor compared to Battle's 6 of 26 (23 percent) effort.
With the win Dexter moves on to play Benton (21-8) in the semifinals Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
DEXTER (75) -- Dakota Reynolds 7, Hannah Noe 23, Melanie McKuin 4, Alison Jarrell 14, Erika Cobb 8, Paige Patterson 7, Makayla Waldner 9, Harley Allen 3. FG 27, FT 14-22, F 23. (3-pointers: Reynolds 1, Noe 1, Jarrell 4, Allen 1. Fouled out: none.)
BATTLE (31) -- Jerrica Key 2, Bailey Templeton 2, Mariah Brisco 2, Cheyanna Weaver 8, Elizabeth Johnson 10, Maya Mouton 7. FG 6, FT 18-27, F 16. (3-pointers: Johnson 1. Fouled out: none.)