Dexter, the tournament's top seed and defending champion, has delivered two dominating wins to move into Thursday's semifinals. The Lady Bearcats have out-scored their first two opponents by a combined score of 179 to 29.
Dexter opened tournament play early Saturday morning with a 99-15 win over No. 16 Malden, then followed that up with a 80-15 win Monday over the No. 8 seed, previously undefeated Doniphan.
Dexter shut out the Donettes in the first quarter and led 59-1 at the half.
"I just thought our girls really got after it tonight" Dexter coach Chad Allen said after the game. "Their intensity was good. Every shot opportunity Doniphan had I felt we had a hand in their face, checked every shot and made it tough on them the first half."
Dexter was led by Brittany Harris' double-double. The senior played just three quarters and scored a game-high 22 points and hauled down 12 rebounds while adding two blocked shots.
Dexter, the No. 8 ranked team in Class 4, improved to 9-1 with the win. Dexter made an effort this season to toughened up its schedule. Dexter added a tournament in Paragould, Ark., along with neutral site games against Webster Groves of St. Louis, Carbondale, Il., and Republic, the defending Class 4 state champions.
So does winning games by big margins take the team a step back?
"How we played that first half I feel like we've been playing that way all year," Allen answered. "So getting into the second half, you don't want to run up the score, so in a way I guess you are taking a step back in that second half. But that first half, I thought our girls did a tremendous job defensively. But with our schedule, since we did toughen it up adding that Paragould tournament, I think it really prepared us coming into this tournament. Right now we're definitely clicking on all cylinders."
Dexter played 12 players the first half and the junior varsity unit played all of the fourth quarter. Ten different players scored on the night, including 10 points each by Hannah Noe, Alison Jarrell, and Erika Cobb. Paige Patterson added nine points and eight rebounds.
Dexter's ability to substitute freely is one ingredient to the team's success.
"Definitely with our depth, I think that helps us a lot," Allen added. "Being able to run girls in and out and keep them fresh. If we can to that and keep the pressure up full court and really get after it, we can definitely wear people down.
Doniphan's first field goal didn't come until the 2:48 mark of the third quarter on a basket by Sinora Morhmann.
Dexter will next be in action Thursday at 6:30 against the winner of tonight's game between No. 5 Twin Rivers and No. 4 Clearwater. The tournament will conclude on Saturday starting at 3 p.m. with the consolation final. The championship game is set for 7:30.