Girls Basketball: Dexter fights off Tecumseh behind Pnacek and Rodriguez

The Dexter Dreadnaughts defeated the visiting Tecumseh Indians, 49-46, on Tuesday. The Dreadnaughts were led by Sydney Pnacek’s team-high 13 points, while fellow sophomore Brianna Rodriguez added 10 points off the bench. Eva Alcock had a game-high 17 points in the loss for Tecumseh.

Dexter improves to 10-3 as they bounce back from their loss versus Chelsea last week. The Dreadnaughts will return to action on Friday, Feb. 7 versus Adrian before heading to Jackson next Tuesday. Tecumseh, who is also 10-3, faces Ypsilanti and Lincoln over their next two games.

Dexter is now 5-2 at home this season.

“We’re just trying to find ways to speed up the game so we trapped after the first quarter and it got our girls a little more engaged,” said Dexter Coach Lauren Thompson. “We knew this was going to be a tough one and it’s our motivation to finish the season with all wins so I think this will give us even more motivation and some belief that we can actually get it done.”

Dexter’s Kylie Cabana got the scoring going as she scored a put-back layup to put the Dreadnaughts up 2-0 with 5:50 left in the first quarter. After getting down 4-0, Alcock converted an and-one for Tecumseh. Neither team was able to score efficiently in the opening quarter as the Indians led 6-4 after the first. Cabana had all four points for Dexter.

The scoring ramped up in the second quarter as both teams got going. Pnacek scored a quick five points for Dexter as the Dreadnaughts moved into a 1-3-1 trap to create more turnovers. Dexter’s plan worked for the most part as steals led to five points from Kyleigh Valentine, including a three-pointer to put the Dreadnaughts up 20-17.

Tecumseh got within one point, trailing 20-19, but Dexter responded with a 9-2 run to finish the first half. The Dreadnaughts were fueled by Pnacek’s team-high 10 points, while Valentine and Cabana had five points and four points, respectively. Alcock led the Indians with 10 points. Kylah Abbott had four points for Tecumseh at the break.

The Indians started the third quarter on an 8-0 to tie the game, behind Alcock’s three points. Dexter answered right after, though, going on an 8-0 run of their own to regain their eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Rodriguez and Valentine knocked down two consecutive three-pointers for the Dreadnaughts to put them up 37-29.

In the fourth quarter, Pnacek got loose for a left handed layup to give Dexter a 41-33 lead with 6:45 remaining in the game. She also connected on a mid-range jumper a few minutes later to put the Dreadnaughts up six points. Tecumseh kept battling and got within two points following Alcock’s lay up with 1:36 left in the fourth quarter.

It looked like Tecumseh was going to get the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead but Rodriguez slid in and grabbed an offensive rebound for Dexter before finishing the layup to give the Dreadnaughts a 47-43 advantage. The Indians did have one more chance, down 49-46 with six seconds remaining but Abbott missed a three-pointer from the right wing.

“Oh my gosh, it was just a huge, huge play by her,” Thompson said. “Brianna is kind of a steady Eddy when it comes to games like this. She just always keeps her cool and that was a really big play to make, especially for a sophomore in a game like this.  “We just wanted to keep our heads and respond when we had to.”


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