By Matthew Bartow / WLD
In sports, young teams are prone to experience growing pains, especially in a pandemic-altered season.
That was certainly the case for the Dexter boys’ basketball team in Thursday’s 40-37 SEC loss at Pinckney as the Dreadnaughts displayed a promising start showing the team’s potential, but inexperience rearing its ugly head in crunch time.
Despite Pinckney largely controlling the second half, the Dreads had a chance late to tie the game after the Pirates missed a foul shot, but Colin Parachek’s three-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out.
Dexter head coach Jason Rushton said his team has plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
“Pinckney’s a good team. I think just about everybody picked them to win our conference,” Rushton said. “We have a lot of young guys on this team that are going to come around. We keep working together and staying positive and doing the things that we’re doing and we’ll be okay. We’ve got to look in the mirror and grow from this.”
Parachek finished with a team-high 13 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Evan Haroldson and Aidan Dexter each added 9 for the Dreads.
Dexter opened up a double-digit lead after a nearly flawless first quarter. Cal Bavineau made a deep two-point jumper for the game’s first points, and Haroldson drained a three-point basket to give the Dreads an early 5-0 lead. Pinckney answered with three straight points, but then Dexter extended its lead with a 12-2 run, with all its points coming from seniors Aidan Dexter and Parachek.
Dexter had a 17-5 lead after the first quarter, but it had a big problem on its hands: Bavineau, their starting point guard, picked up two fouls in the game’s first 3 minutes. Rushton decided to sit Bavineau for large portions of the first half, and the results showed in the final three quarters. The Dreads were more turnover prone and less effective shooting in the second quarter, which saw Pinckney cut Dexter’s lead in half.
“(Bavineau’s) foul trouble hurt us a bit,” Rushton said. “They went on a little bit of a run when we had to go to our bench. We gotta find a way to not lose the lead. We need to be next man up, and that next man has to come up and contribute as that first man was doing.”
Dexter remained in the lead even with its struggles in the second quarter. Pinckney’s Charlie Lovell, who scored 13 points in the game, closed Dexter’s lead to three in the first half’s final 2 minutes, but the Dreads scored five late points, capped by a steal resulting in a Parachek layup, to take a 24-18 halftime lead.
Rushton said Dexter’s offense “fell asleep” in the third quarter, and the Pirates took advantage and pulled even. Charlie and his brother, Luke Lovell, combined for all 12 of Pinckney’s third-quarter points, while Dexter only managed six. Luke scored a game-high 17 points.
Pinckney took its first lead early in the fourth quarter, but Dexter stormed back with five straight points to retake the lead, 35-32 with 5:40 remaining. Barely 15 seconds later, Bavineau picked up his fourth foul, and had to exit the game again. The impact was obvious, as Dexter didn’t score again until Parachek converted two foul shots with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game.
Pinckney took the lead to stay when Luke Lovell got an offensive rebound and scored with 3:11 remaining.
Despite the foul trouble, Bavineau dished out a team-high seven assists and played his usual strong defense.
Dexter returns to action on Saturday when it faces Temperance Bedford on the road in a Southeastern Conference crossover game.
“I just want to see us compete again for four quarters and play 32 minutes of Dexter basketball,” Rushton said. “Our defense is very good. We held a good Pinckney team to 40 points. Now, we have to find ways to become shot makers.”