NMCC scorches Dexter from outside 83-68
NEW MADRID -- New Madrid County Central Eagles coach Travis Day encouraged his shooters to take any open looks they got early against the Dexter Bearcats Friday night.
"Our goal was to come out with a lot of energy, playing our style," Day said. "I knew their defense was going to pack it in the paint on Willie (Jimerson). We told our shooters 'have your hands and feet ready and if you are wide open let it fly.'"
The Eagles let it fly frequently in the first half and connected often leading to an 83-68 win over Dexter.
NMCC, who's 17-2 record is its best since the 2001-02 season when they began 16-2, hit all eight of its 3-pointers in the first half as it built a 46-20 lead by halftime.
"They fell for us early," Day added. "That helped us get our energy up more and we started playing hard on the defensive end, which is how we were able to build that lead up one them."
Dexter put together its own 3-point show after halftime as it drained seven treys.
The hot shooting helped the Bearcats outscore the state-ranked Eagles by 11 points in the second half but NMCC hung on for the home win.
"I was very proud of how the kids battled back in the second half," Dexter coach Josh Dowdy said. "Real proud. It would have been easy to quit and we did not do that tonight. Tyler Heil came in and gave us some big minutes. I have been coaching for 10 years and have been around quite a few kids and there is not a better teammate than that young man. His actions on the court are the epitome of a great teammate. I am just glad he had a chance to shine and he did with some big blockouts, a charge and a stickback."
NMCC displayed its vast arsenal of offensive weapons from get-go to finish. At least five players scored for the Eagles in every quarter as nine NMCC players finished the contest with at least one made field.
Willie Jimerson paced the Eagles with 19 points. Deon Jenkins added 12 more points on six 2-pointers. Vontre Jones had 11 points on five 2-pointers and a free throw.
Other NMCC players nearing double digits were Drew Palmer who managed nine points on three treys, and Kiel Causey and Javarcus Word, who both scored eight points on a pair of two-pointers and a trey.
"That's kind of our style," Day said of his team's offensive production. "Willie is our head guy, but we usually have a lot of guys contribute night-in and night-out. We are good about sharing the ball and our style allows for a lot of people to get their hands on the ball.
Dowdy added on defending NMCC: "Our goal was to make them shoot over the top of us. Unfortunately, they were eight of 11 behind the arc in the first half. I do wish we would have contested a little bit more, but you have to pick your poison against a team like NMCC. If you go out and guard them they are more than capable of getting to the rim."
Dexter increased its offensive production in every quarter as it tallied six points in the first period, 14 points in the second quarter, 21 points in the third period and 27 points in the fourth quarter.
Jason Jarrell paced Dexter with 19 points. Austin Chesser added 17 more.
Ethan Flowers hit half of Dexter's eight treys. He finished with 16 points.
"We were also able to run a few things offensively in the second half that I feel will make us better down the stretch," Dowdy said. "I believe it is worth noting the way Coach Day handled the game. There were some times where he could have kept his foot on the gas and he didn't. That shows a lot about his character and NMCC as a whole."
NMCC, which is ranked No. 4 in Class 3, improves to 17-2 with the victory.
No. 3 seeded Dexter returns to action Monday at 8 p.m. when it takes on sixth-seeded Puxico in a quarterfinal contest of the SCAA Tournament at Bloomfield.
NMCC (83) -- Willie Jimerson 19, Mikael Walker 9, Kiel Causey 8, Javarcus Word 8, Chris Farr 3, Drew Palmer 9, Asten Newsom 4, Vontre Jones 11, Deon Jenkins 12. FG 33, FT 9-15, F 16. (3-pointers: Causey 2, Word 2, Palmer 3, Jimerson 1. Fouled out: none.)
DEXTER (68) -- Jason Jarrell 19, Peyton Pollock 8, Jacob Pedigo 4, Austin Chesser 17, Ethan Flowers 16, Tyler Heil 2, Matt Sims 2. FG 27, FT 6-9, F 12. (3-pointers: Flowers 4, Chesser 2, Pollock 1, Jarrell 1. Fouled out: none.)
NMCC 80, Dexter 47
NMCC beat Dexter 80-47 in the junior varsity contest. Gabe Jackson paced Dexter with 21 points. Chris Farr hit half of NMCC's six treys on his way to a game-high 31 points. Palmer Campbell contributed 20 more points for the Eagles.
DEXTER (47) - Kole Kelley 3, Marcus Woodson 4, Isaiah Hightower 4, Trevor McDonald 5, Dawson Kasting 4, Ryan Mayo 6, Gabe Jackson 21. FG 18, FT 10/16, F 10. (3-pointers: Kelley 1. Fouled out: none)
NMCC (80) - JaMonte Sykes 2, Palmer Campbell 20, Garrison Keene 10, Craig Beasley 4, Ronnie King 10, Chris Farr 31, Eddie Grandberry 2, Blake Williams 1. FG 33, FT 8/10, F 18. (3-pointers: Farr 3, Campbell 2, Keene 1. Fouled out: none)