Chase Young and DJ Dowdy combined for 43 points as the Bearcats snapped and 0-5 start to the season with a 73-40 win over Richland Friday night at the Bearcat Event Center.
Young scored a game-high 22 points, while Dowdy dropped in 21. Both players connected on two 3-pointers.
"We shot the ball a little better from the perimeter," Dexter coach Rob Nichols said after the game. "I thought we had some other kids step up and get in the scoring column that haven't been there.
"We just haven't been playing with very much confidence," Nichols added. "Hopefully, even though this isn't Jackson, Charleston or Sikeston, you've still got to see that thing going through the net to try and build on it a little bit."
Richland played with confidence early and led Dexter 11-8 on a 3-pointer by Nick Daniels (14 points) with less than a minute remaining in the first. Chase Young answered for Dexter from behind the arc to tie the game at 11-all before Dowdy's 3-pointer at the buzzer pushed the Bearcats out front 14-11 heading into the second quarter.
It was still a close game with Dexter up 22-20 with 4:31 remaining in the second before the 'Cats went on a 12-0 run to surge out front, 34-20. After a Richland time-out, the Rebels used two offensive rebounds and stick backs by 6'11 Richard Forshee, a basket by Jesse Barns and two free throws by Daniels to trim Dexter's advantage to 11 at the half, 39-28.
"Early we struggled a little bit, missed some chip shots and got a little frustrated," Nichols said of his team's start. "But as the game went on we started making the shots we had and started to build on it. Then we started to guard better.
"That's our thing right now is we don't guard very well when we're not scoring," he added. "That's typical but we've got to get out of it because we are going to have droughts at times."
Richland could only manage three points by Forshee in the fourth as the 'Cats coasted home for the win.
Forshee finished with a double-double for the Rebels with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
"If he catches it 10 feet and in there's not a whole lot you can to with him," Nichols said of Richland's post man. "He's got good touch and he finishes around the basket. We tried to front him with back-side help. We did a decent job of that from the second quarter on. First quarter we struggled with it a little bit."
Dexter senior Brad Potts finished with 12 points.
Both teams will have extended layoffs before returning to action. Richland, now 1-5 on the season, and Dexter will not play again until the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament which gets underway Dec. 26 (Wednesday).
The seedings for the tournament were to be voted on by coaches Saturday morning. Due to deadlines, those results were not available at press time. Check Tuesday's edition of the Daily Statesman for the seedings.