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Monday, June 26, 2017

Slow start dooms Dexter girls basketball team in Class 4 semifinal loss to St. Pius-Kansas City

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dexter senior Harley Allen sheds a few tears in the final seconds of the Lady Bearcats' MSHSAA Class 4 semifinal on Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- It was the worst possible combination for the Dexter girls basketball team.

St. Pius-Kansas City couldn't miss and the Lady Bearcats couldn't buy a bucket Thursday night.

For a crucial 7-minute stretch to open the game, Dexter went without a single point as the Warriors rode a 17-point swing and never looked back for a 59-34 win in a Class 4 semifinal at Mizzou Arena.

Dexter sophomore Natalie Sitze, middle, tries to haul in a loose ball in a MSHSAA Class 4 semifinal on Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri.
St. Pius X (26-3) advanced to play Incarnate Word Academy (26-4) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be the first state championship appearance for the Warriors, who took third in Class 3 last year.

Dexter (22-9) faces Carl Junction (27-3) at 12:45 p.m. Friday for third place.

"We didn't come here to play for the third-place game, so I'm hurting a little bit right now," Dexter junior Krysten Garrison said. "But that's what we've got to do now, so hopefully we can go out tomorrow and win one."

The Lady Bearcats missed their first 13 shots and were in jeopardy of being shut out in the first quarter until Garrison made a layup with 51 seconds left in the opening frame. Offensive lulls were a common theme for Dexter all night, but the first one hurt the most.

"I just felt like we came out a little tight at the beginning of the game," Dexter coach Chad Allen said. "We would've been 0 for 14 had Krysten not made that shot, so I mean just getting off to a slow start like that, we just dug ourselves a hole."

The Lady Bearcats never found a way to climb out of it but they tried.

Trailing 17-2 at the start of the second, sophomore phenom Chaylea Mosby did what she's done all season by rattling off nine straight points to pull the Lady Bearcats right back in it.

Fellow sophomore Natalie Sitze kept the run going with a drive and finish at the rim while Mosby and junior Hannah Thurmon each added jumpers to cap Dexter's 13-5 run and trim the deficit to 22-13 with 1:35 left before halftime.

St. Pius X ended the first half with the final four points and extended its lead to 28-15 a minute into the third, but Dexter still wouldn't go away.

Dexter junior Krysten Garrison, middle, fights for possession against St. Pius X seniors Natlaie Denzer, left, and Abby Hipp in a MSHSAA Class 4 semifinal on Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri.
Garrison fueled a 9-2 run with four straight points and Mosby hit a 3 three minutes later to pull the Bearcats within 30-24 with 4:48 left in the third.

Dexter couldn't close the gap any further though while the Warriors ended the quarter on an 8-4 swing and added the first six points of the fourth to open up a 44-31 advantage.

Garrison ended it momentarily with a three-point play and Thurmon followed with a layup before St. Pius X ended the game on a 13-2 spurt.

"Basketball is a game of runs, and we made a run and they made a run right back at us," Allen said. "Having to dig ourselves out of that 15-point hole at the beginning of the game just hurt us."

Mosby paced Dexter with 17 points on 9 of 18 shooting and a team-high seven rebounds. She entered the tournament averaging 26 points a game --the most of any other Class 4 player in the final four -- and said she enjoyed her first experience at state.

"It's been great just to be able to say that you got to play on this court, on this stage," Mosby said. "We wish we could've done better, but I think we can come back."

Garrison added eight points and six boards while Thurmon scored six.

The Lady Bearcats shot a season-low 31.8 percent from the field (14 of 44) and turned the ball over nine times. Dexter also made just two 3-pointers after averaging nearly seven a game and was held to its second lowest point total this season.

"We knew they were an excellent shooting team, very well coached and they shoot a tremendous amount of threes," St. Pius coach Bob Fenzel said. "They shoot more threes than we do individually. But for the last three days, we prepared for that tremendously with all kinds of transition drills."

Senior Abby Hipp recorded a double-double with a game-high 21 points to lead the Warriors, who made 23 of 53 (43.4 percent) from the field. Hipp, a Missouri state signee, was 10 of 14 shooting and pulled down 14 rebounds.

"Hipp, she's a tough, great post player. I can see why Missouri State wanted her," Allen said. "She's just tough inside. We had to try and double her a lot and when you're doing that you're leaving shooters open, and it's just a tough matchup."

Despite the loss, it was a great experience for a young Dexter team full of juniors and sophomores. The Lady Bearcats start two juniors and two sophomores and are hoping to send seniors Harley Allen and Cheyenne Mosby out with one more win.

"This is our fourth time being here. We've finished fourth twice and second once," Allen said. "Since I've been here, we've never won our last game of the year. We want to go out and try to win for our two seniors, let them finish strong and hopefully come out with a win."

St. Pius1791221--59

ST. PIUS (59) -- Antoinett Mussorici 9, Abby Hipp 21, Natalie Denzer 13, Amanda Hayes 1, Hannah Simone 4, Alaina Malott 7, Kathrynne Taylor 2, Lexi Chrirpich 2. FG 23 FT 10-12 F 12. (3-pointers: Mussorici 1, Hipp 1, Denzer 1. Fouled out: none.)

DEXTER (34) -- Natalie Sitze 2, Hannah Thurmon 6, Krysten Garrison 8, Chaylea Mosby 17, Rylee Allen 1. FG 14 FT 4-7 F 13. (3-pointers: Mosby 2. Fouled out: none.)