It started out like most early season basketball games in the first week of December. A little rough with a few too many turnovers, mental lapses and confusion while trying to figure things out on the fly with the defense clearly ahead of the offense at this point.
But near the end of the first quarter, experience and skill finally got things rolling just enough to pull away as Dexter defeated host Skyline 39-25 in a non-division SEC game Tuesday night.
The Dreadnaughts, with seven seniors on the roster, an excellent coaching staff and potential to be one of the better teams in the area, improved to 2-0 on the season. Dexter won its first game 35-21 over Jackson Parma Western.
The Eagles flew into the game looking for experience and a chance to run with the talented Dreads. Skyline’s roster features five sophomores, a freshman and no seniors as Coach Johnnie Horne will be looking to improve each time they step on the floor.
While Tuesday’s game won’t go down as a classic, it did show that both teams have some talented pieces to work with and as chemistry develops and players get more used to the system and expectations, good things should happen for both programs.
Dexter senior Sammi Corcoran led all scorers with 14 points. Freshman Kylee Niswonger had a solid game and finished with nine points for the Dreadnaughts.
Freshman Lauren Courtright led Skyline with five points. Alaina Heetderks, Cammi Tirico and Janee Faulkner each scored four for the home team.
A basket inside by Gabby Salazar and two free throws from Courtright gave Skyline an 8-4 lead. But it didn’t last long. Corcoran hit a triple and then converted a layup in back-to-back plays to push the Dreads into the lead at 9-8. They would never trail again.
A jumper by Kyleigh Valentine gave Dexter an 11-8 lead after one quarter.
Megan Turner’s basket gave the visitors a 15-8 lead before Corcoran scored to make it 18-8 with 3 minutes left in the half. She scored again with 2 minutes left to give Dexter a 21-8 lead, which they took into halftime.
A jumper by Faulkner cut the lead to 21-12 and then a basket by Heetderks pulled Skyline to within 25-17 late in the third quarter.
Dexter led 26-17 after three.
A layup early in the fourth quarter by Tirico brought the Eagles to within 26-19. But Dexter pulled away, with Niswonger’s triple getting things rolling back in their direction.
A jumper by Nicole Tuzinowski and then a basket by Niswonger gave Dexter a 33-19 lead and they never looked back.