BANGOR, Maine — The Dexter Tigers’ mix of seniors with tourney experience and freshmen with loads of talent provided just the right blend for their Class C North quarterfinal Tuesday morning.
Coach Jody Grant’s Tigers played a near perfect game, reeling off 28 unanswered points over a 13 minute and 20 second stretch that covered most of the second and third quarters.
[ Live blog: Maine high school basketball tournament 2018 ]
Their gritty player-to-player defense limited Fort Kent to only one field goal (a 3-pointer by senior Cassidy Lovley) prior to intermission and the Tigers took a 35-5 halftime lead on their way to a 52-13 girls basketball victory.
Freshman Avery Herrick said Dexter has always taken pride on its defense and it carries over from year to year.
“We’re known for our defense and we just want to keep that going,” she said. “We work on helping on the ball and that’s what we focus on.”
[ 2018 Maine high school basketball tournament brackets ]
No. 2 Dexter (16-3) will next play No. 11 Calais in Friday’s 2:05 p.m. semifinal. Fort Kent, the seventh seed, concluded its season with a 13-7 record.
Freshman Peyton Grant and Herrick powered the Dexter offense. Grant played just 2-1/2 quarters and still tallied 23 points, with 16 coming in the first half. She was 5-for-9 on 3-point attempts and also scored on some nifty moves to the basket. Herrick finished with 14 points and 11 of them came before intermission.
The Warriors attempted several different defenses in the game — 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones and some man-to-man — but none were effective in slowing down the Tiger attack. Dexter executed well offensively and committed just seven turnovers.
[ The latest schedule and scores from the Maine high school basketball tournament ]
Herrick said her team has been able to formulate solid chemistry this season, despite the influx of a large group of freshmen.
“We all have our things we do well,” Herrick said. “We have Becca (Batron) in the post with her height, Kaitlyn (Webber) who takes care of the ball and we can always count on Peyton to make baskets and Cheyenne (Beem) rebounding. It all comes together and we all connect.”
Defensively, the Tigers’ defense befuddled the Warriors throughout. Fort Kent committed 13 turnovers in the opening half and 24 in the contest. Fort Kent was led by Lovley with seven points and Desirae Hafford with five.
The game was halted for nearly 30 minutes early in the fourth quarter when Warrior senior Libby LaPointe suffered a knee injury and was carried off on a stretcher.
Follow BDN Maine Sports on Facebook for the latest in Maine high school and college sports.