The holidays are a time of gifts and presents and celebration. The Dexter girls’ basketball team picked up a nice present over the break but this one wasn’t given to them – it was earned. The Dreadnaughts rallied late against Northville to knock off the host Mustangs and win the Northville Holiday Tournament last week at Northville High School.
It was a rollercoaster game but the only thing that mattered was which team finished at the top when the final buzzer sounded. And with a little more than 2 minutes to play it looked like Northville would be that team. But the Mustangs turned the ball over six times and the Dreads were perfect at the free-throw line as Dexter crossed the finish line with a 41-38 win on Dec. 29.
The Dreadnaughts jumped out to a 13-3 lead after the first quarter and led 22-13 at halftime. But the Mustangs had a huge third quarter to take a 29-25 lead into the final period.
Dexter coach Mike Bavineau has always stressed fundamentals and there is nothing more fundamental or important as making free throws – especially late in the game. And the Dreadnaughts went 14 of 17 from the line in the game and made eight in a row in the final 90 seconds to help push this one into the win column.
It also was Northville’s first loss of the season.
Taylor Olson gave Dexter the lead with 30 seconds left in the game to complete an 8-0 run. Olson scored six of her 11 points in the fourth quarter and also had seven rebounds in the game.
Anna Love scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter for the Dreads. She made six straight free throws, including two with 11 seconds left, to give Dexter a 41-36 lead.
Senior Cayla Schlaff made three triples in the first half and finished with nine points.
Dexter advanced to the finals with an impressive 37-35 win over Warren Cousino in a semifinal game. The Dreads also came behind in this game as Love scored five of her seven points in the fourth quarter.
The key for the Dreads was patience on offense to help create better scoring opportunities and playing lockdown defense at the other end of the floor. Dexter held Cousino to just three points in the final quarter.
Dexter’s team defense approach helped keep Warren’s Kierra Fletcher in check for most of the game.
The Dreads fell behind 13-9 after one quarter and the game was tied 22-22 at the break. Cousino led 34-32 after three quarters.
Love finished with 15 points and 10 boards for an impressive double-double. Shelbea James had nine points and four rebounds; Schlaff had six points; Hannah Wing had five points and eight rebounds; Olson had four points; and Amanda Fileccia and Sammi Corcoran each had two rebounds in the win.
Dexter plays at Lincoln on Friday, Jan. 8.