Dexter girls make it back-to-back district basketball titles over Notre Dame

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Notre Dame players react to their 62-38 loss to Dexter during the Class 4 District 1 title game on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, in Sikeston. (Kristin Eberts)

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Dexter girls basketball team left Notre Dame's gym with some lessons learned after a one-point loss earlier this month.

Those lessons proved the difference in the Bearcats' 62-38 win over the Bulldogs in the Class 4 District 1 championship game Friday.

"We learned that we had to get better at defense," Dexter's Paige Patterson said. "We learned from their weaknesses and our strong points."

Dexter (23-4) did not allow Notre Dame to score more than 11 points in any quarter, including just six points during the decisive second quarter.

"We really needed to step up on our defense, and we had to watch the shooters more, and transition defense was a big factor in that," Patterson said.

Notre Dame shot 32 percent (14 of 44) from the floor. The Bulldogs found driving lanes early in the game, but those soon were closed.

"I feel like they cut off the baseline really well and then I felt like we might have been dribbling too much instead of looking for the open pass," Notre Dame senior Summer Burger said. "But the middle wasn't even open, so it was just really hard to execute and get it down the floor."

Burger finished with a team-high 12 points for Notre Dame, while classmate Brooke Bohnert, who scored 22 points in the Bulldogs' win over Dexter, finished with two points.

"The big difference tonight was they held Brooke Bohnert to what, two points?" Notre Dame coach Renee Peters said. "That was the big difference. They targeted her pretty well."

Bohnert's only basket came with a minute left in the game.

"We knew that she was one of the main scorers last time, and we had to shut her down this time," Patterson said. "We pretty much had a guard stay on her the whole time. We stayed right up on her the whole night."

Patterson, a 6-foot sophomore, led Dexter with 18 points.

"Paige had a great game last night, and she turned around and had a really big game again tonight," Dexter coach Chad Allen said. "She's really stepped up her play and she's getting pretty hard to stop inside now."

Patterson's post partner Brittany Harris, a 5-11 junior, added 16 points.

"We really focused on guarding the perimeter game," Peters said. "We held them to one 3-point shot, but they did a great job going inside. They really exploited our lack of height tonight.

"They did a good job. They had the height. We didn't. They kept lobbing it inside and we weren't able to defend it as much as we'd like."

Annie Siebert's basket with 5 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second quarter pulled Notre Dame within four points before Dexter went on a 10-0 run. The Bulldogs never pulled within single digits again.

"Once they took the lead -- we've got a lot of youth on the court, and I think we started to play a little more cautious," Peters said. "At every point in that game, I had two to four sophomores on the floor, and I think a lot of times they didn't want to make mistakes."

Dexter's roster is filled with just as much youth but more postseason experience since most of the team also played in last year's district championship win. The Bearcats have six sophomores and two juniors on their roster.

"We knew that they were going to be out for us since we had beaten them by one," Bohnert said. "They came out and they played tight, tight defense. We knew that they weren't just going to give it to us and that they really wanted this district championship."

The Bulldogs finished the season 14-13.

"We finished the year with a winning record with probably, I know, the toughest schedule in our area," Peters said. "We are four-foot-nothing and we played in two championship games this year.

"I'm proud of them. I had eight of my 12 varsity players are sophomores, and everyone looked for this to be a rebuilding year, and I said, you know, I don't like that word because when I put a team on the floor, I expect to complete, and I think these girls did. I hope my sophomores will grow up, and I thank my seniors for their leadership."

Notre Dame1161110--38

NOTRE DAME (38) -- Brooke Bohnert 2, Summer Burger 12, Miranda Fowler 5, Shelby Beussink 8, Annie Siebert 9, Halle Lynch 2. FG 15, FT 7-12, F 14. (3-pointers: Fowler 1. Fouled out: none)

DEXTER (62) -- Moolie Whitehead 2, Katelynn Frazier 2, Hannah Noe 8, Erika Cobb 11, Taylor Owens 4, Brittany Harris 16, Paige Patterson 18. FG 23, FT 13-16, F 12. (3-pointers: Cobb 2. Fouled out: none)

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