In a tale of two halves, the Skyline girls’ basketball team couldn’t hold off Dexter in the second half and fell to the Dreadnaughts 41-25 in a District semifinal game Wednesday night at Pioneer High School.
Dexter knocked out Huron on Monday in the opening round while Skyline had a bye. The Dreads can eliminate their third Ann Arbor school on Friday when they meet the Pioneers in the District finals at 7 p.m. Pioneer beat Pinckney in the other semifinal game on Wednesday.
Skyline and Dexter played to a 3-3 draw in the first quarter as the defenses took charge. The offenses got going in the second quarter as Skyline took a 17-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
But Dexter dominated the second half, outscoring the Eagles 11-2 in the third quarter and 17-6 in the final quarter.
Dexter was led in scoring by Kylie Cabana with 12 points and Kylee Niswonger with 11. Sammi Corcoran had six points and Megan Turner added five for the Dreads.
Skyline was led by Lauren Courtright with six points. Janee Faulkner, Renee Faulkner and Blessing Batalonga each scored five for the Eagles.
“We came out today with the intent of not letting Corcoran control the game on the offensive end, and also not allowing Dexter to jump out to an early lead on us,” said Skyline Coach Johnnie Horne. “We knew that they were an extremely patient team on the offensive side. That is why we didn’t want them jumping out to an early lead, because it would be tough to make up ground on them.”
Skyline came out playing a lot of zone, box and 1, and a little triangle and two to try and keep Dexter out of their rhythm offensively. They also wanted to be strong and aggressive with the ball on offense.
And the game plan worked in the first half, as the Eagles held Dexter to 13 first half points, and limited Corcoran’s impact on the game.
“I would have liked to score more first half points ourselves to go into the half with a larger lead, but felt like we were in a great position never the less,” Horne said.
In the second half Dexter’s experience and composure showed up, as they took a 20-17 lead 4 minutes into the third quarter and never looked back.
“In the fourth quarter we were forced to come out of our zone and play man to man as well as other pressure defenses 1-2-2 and 2-2-1 which got us a few turnovers, but Dexter was able to recover defensively to not allow us to get easy buckets on the other end,” Horne said.
Most of the scoring came from the free-throw line as Dexter went 9-14 from the stripe and made some clutch baskets to close out the game.
“At the end of the day I told the girls that we have to learn how to close teams out, and play consistently for 32 minutes,” Horne said. “We will be back and we will be better, no doubt about it. We are young and hungry to learn and get better, and can’t wait for next season.”