Dexter had four players score in double figure and the Lady 'Cats were never challenged in a lopsided 82-43 win over previously unbeaten New Madrid County Central.
Dexter got 17 points from SEMO Conference Co-Player of the Year Brittany Harris while Paige Patterson and Erika Cobb each netted 15 and Alison Jarrell knocked down four 3-pointers on her way to a 14-point night.
"Coming in tonight we had definitely been tested a lot in the Farmington tournament and then the Paragould tournament and I think that really got us started off right at the beginning of the year," Dexter coach Chad Allen said after the game. "I thought the girls did a great job tonight, but one area I thought we didn't do a very good job was on the boards. I thought we gave them way to many offensive boards and that's something we've got to work on."
Dexter, now 6-1 on the year, as been on the road for its first six games, which included a tournament title in Paragould and a runner-up finish at Farmington where they lost to Miller Career Academy (ranked No. 3 in Class 4) in the championship game.
Dexter next action will come at the Lady Royals Holiday Classic, where they are the No. 1 seed. NMCC is the tournament's No. 2 seed.
Dexter dominated its home opener, scoring the game-first 11 points. The Lady Eagles answered with a 6-0 run to make it a 11-6 game, but the Lady 'Cats finished the opening frame on a 14-2 run. Dexter padded its 25-11 first quarter lead in the second to lead 48-18 at the half.
"I thought we competed really well the second half, we played a little harder," NMCC coach Davis Crockett said. "But the first half we come out and do what we normally do against Dexter. We kind of went through the motions and let them get a big lead and then we decide we can play a little bit. You can't get down against a good team like that and expect to come back. We may get another shot against them at the Christmas tournament. And hey, I would look forward to that. It would be in the finals."
Dexter used its inside presence of Harris and Patterson to soften up NMCC's defense early, which opened up the outside where the Lady 'Cats hit 8-of-16 3-point shots. Dexter shot 52 percent (33-of-64) from the floor for the game.
"It seemed like at the beginning of the game we really got the ball inside," Allen said. "I thought Paige and Brittany did a really good job of finishing inside. And then it started to open up the outside and we've got some good shooters. So once you get it inside it opens up the outside and I thought they did a good job of knocking down some shots."
Dexter could face NMCC (5-1) again in the finals of the Twin Rivers Christmas Tournament, and Allen knows the Lady Eagles have the potential to give his team a stiffer challenge in a possible rematch.
"New Madrid is a good team," Allen noted. "They've got two really good players in (Benesha) Childress (13 points) and (Karen) McGloson (13 points). They are both seniors, I believe, great players and (they) may even have a future in basketball. I just thought our girls did a really good job defensively tonight of trying to contain them."
Dexter's revamped schedule, which has the team also traveling to St. Louis and West Plains for neutral site games, has cut into the home games for the Lady 'Cats this season
"It definitely feels good to be here (at home)," Allen added. "I wish we had more games here. We just have four left. But at least we have districts here and we practice here every day so that should help us come district time."
The junior varsity Lady Bearcats played their first game of the season against NMCC and came away with a 67-15 win.
Dexter will next be in action Saturday when it plays its first-round game at the Twin Rivers tournament against No. 16 seed Malden at 9 a.m.