The Dexter girls’ basketball team showed on Tuesday night that adversity was not going to derail them. Instead, they will use the loss of a key player for the rest of the season as motivation and find other ways to win basketball games. It’s called “next player up” and very good teams have players ready to step up and contribute – and Dexter is a very good team.
Last week, Dexter sophomore Maddie Valentine was injured and will be out for the rest of the season. It’s a big loss for a team with big expectations heading into a huge game Friday night at Chelsea and then on into the postseason.
“I am very proud of how our girls are playing right now,” said Dexter Coach Lauren Thompson. “We have started to adjust to not having Maddie on the floor. People have stepped up and our girls are playing great team basketball.”
There seems to be a strong mental toughness with this Dexter basketball team. And Thompson gets to see it every day in practice and in games.
“I’m impressed with their toughness, tenacity and willingness to make the extra pass to a teammate,” Thompson says. “One of our team goals was to put ourselves in the situation to play for a conference title and we hope to do that on Friday.”
The Bulldogs defeated the cold-shooting Dreadnaughts 40-23 earlier in the year at Dexter. The Dreads shot less than 10 percent in the game.
Dexter had a much better shooting game on Tuesday in a 65-50 win over visiting Ypsilanti during Senior Night.
The Dreadnaughts led 16-11 after the first quarter and 31-19 at halftime. Ypsilanti outscored Dexter 17-15 in the third quarter but Dexter put the game away with a 19-14 run in the fourth quarter.
The Dreadnaughts moved the ball around all night long and it resulted in four players reaching double figures. Brianna Rodriguez led the way with 16 points. The sophomore went 8 for 8 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and hit two triples in the game.
Senior Kyleigh Valentine had a great Senior Night. She made four triples in the game and finished with 12 points.
Junior Olivia Mellifont and sophomore Sydney Pnacek each scored 11 for Dexter.
Kylie Cabana had six points, Alayna Babut scored five and Kaila Simpson scored four in the win.
Dexter plays at Chelsea on Friday. The girls tip off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys at 7 p.m.