Aidan Dexter hit a three-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in the game to help Dexter rally in the final seconds to beat host Adrian 51-49 on Friday night and improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC White Division.
Senior Marco Lucchesi finished with a team-high 17 points and six rebounds to help lead Dexter to its third consecutive win. Dexter, a junior, finished with 12 points including his game-winning triple. Colin Parachek added 13 points, five rebounds and four steals for the Dreadnaughts. Ryan Trinkle had five points for Dexter.
Joseph Francis had a game-high 18 points in the loss for Adrian.
“We held them under 50 points and that’s always our goal,” said Dexter head coach Jason Ruston. “I feel like if we can do that then we’ll have a pretty good chance to win if the offensive works.
“Their defense made our offense turn the ball over and that’s what got them back into the game.”
Adrian started the first quarter on a 6-0 run as Sage Doan (15 points) finished two layups at the rim. Parachek scored the first basket of the game for Dexter as he knocked down a three-pointer.
The Maples led 11-9 after a low-scoring first quarter as Doan led both teams with six points on 75 percent shooting from the field.
Dexter’s offense woke up in the second quarter as they went on a 14-0 run in less than 2 minutes. Dexter hit back-to-back three-pointers from the top of the key and then the corner. He would add another three-pointer a few minutes later and the Dreadnaughts took a 27-22 lead into halftime.
“When shots are falling, our offense looks great,” Rushton said. “When shots aren’t falling, can we continue to get stops on defense? I thought during our run in the second quarter, we were doing it on both sides of the floor. Our defense created a couple of turnovers and that allowed us to push the ball which opened up looks for Aidan (Dexter).”
The Maples scored the first eight points of the third quarter to take a 30-27 lead. Caden Dempsey hit a wing three-pointer to give Adrian the lead.
Dexter would respond, though, as Lucchesi scored eight points in the final 4 minutes of the quarter, including a buzzer-beating mid-range jumper to put his team up 37-35 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Joseph Francis tied the game for the Maples with 6:02 left.
Lucchesi quickly gave Dexter the lead back with a 3-pointer but Adrian continued to fight back. With 31.8 seconds left, Mitchell Hanosh gave Adrian a 49-48 lead.
The Dreadnaughts had one final answer in them as Aidan Dexter knocked down a corner three-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in the game to push the lead to 51-49. Dexter’s defense forced a long, tough, contested three at the end and it was only fitting that Aidan Dexter secured the rebound to seal the win.
Ruston talked about what he told his team in the final timeout and what happened on the last play: “We didn’t come this far to lose this game. We were ready. We came out and we got what we wanted. They did a great job of taking the first guy away, which was Marco open in the corner, and we had to throw it to the elbow and reverse the ball for an open look.”
That open look ended up in the hands of Aidan Dexter who sent Dexter into the win column.
The Dreadnaughts return to action on Saturday, Dec. 28 in the Washtenaw Hoops Showcase at Eastern Michigan University. Dexter faces Brighton at 1 p.m.