Season Wrap-up: Boys’ basketball team saved best for last

When basketball coaches roll out the balls in November they all have one goal in mind – to be playing their best basketball in March. The Dexter boys’ basketball team certainly accomplished that.

The Dreadnaughts finished very strong, with solid showings against quality opponents including Lincoln, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Huron.

“The season just ended a little too soon for us to get that big time win we were looking for,” Dexter Coach Tim Cain said.

Dexter’s season came to an end after an impressive performance against a quality team in the District semifinal. With 40 seconds left in the game, the Dreadnaughts were all tied with Ann Arbor Huron 57-57.

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“It was a back and forth game the whole way,” Cain said. “It was tied and they had the ball and we went for a steal and got called for a foul,” Cain said. “It was a good foul. The player we fouled had been struggling from the free-throw line. As a team they had missed a lot of free throws so we were comfortable going for a steal and if we fouled them so be it. To his credit, he stepped up and knocked them both down.”

Down two points, the Dreads decided to go for the win.

“But their player made a great defensive play and the game was over,” Cain said.

The River Rats, who escaped with a 61-57 victory over the Dreads, ended up losing the District final to Ann Arbor Pioneer.

Senior Grant Katcher, Dexter’s leader on and off the floor, was named to the Southeastern Conference First Team. Seniors Justin Eekhoff and Michael Bradshaw were Honorable Mention.

Katcher, Eekhoff, Bradshaw and Jordan Scott were SEC All-Academic as all four seniors made the honor roll.

It was Cain’s fourth season on the Dexter bench but first as the varsity head coach. He was pleased with both the effort and results of his team, both on and off the floor.

“It was everything I knew it would be,” he said. “The kids worked hard like they always do here. They are intelligent and passionate about the game.

“It was a change of philosophy from last year but they adjusted well and we were playing our best at the end of the season. That’s all you can ask for.”

They certainly did. Ypsilanti blew Dexter out by 40 points the first time they met and it was anyone’s game in the fourth quarter the second time around. The Dreads finished the season at 10-12 but seven of the games were decided by four points or less.

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The future appears to be bright. Cain has no travel plans and that stability in the coaching ranks. The JV team went 15-5 under Coach Fred Webster and the freshman squad finished an impressive 17-3 under Coach Jon-Lamar Hamilton.

The varsity squad will return six juniors and two sophomores.

“Yeah, the future looks pretty good,” Cain said.

Right after the Dreads’ loss to Huron one of Cain’s players came up to him and promised him right there on the spot that he was going to work extremely hard in the off-season.

“He told me he was going to be a completely different player next year,” Cain said. “Like I said, these kids love the game and want to get better. And they are going to start right away. They learned this year that they can play with these teams. It was exciting. Now they want to get better so they can beat them.”

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