Brittany Harris delivered her second straight double-double effort as the top-seeded Lady 'Cats continued to dominate their opponents with a 80-24 win over No. 4 Clearwater in the semifinals Thursday night.
Harris scored a game-high 32 points and hauled down 11 rebounds as Dexter marched into Saturday's championship game. Dexter will play the winner of tonight's other semifinal contest between No. 2 New Madrid County Central and No. 3 Neelyville.
"We knew coming into the game we had a height advantage and we wanted to try and pound it inside," Dexter coach Chad Allen said after the game. "I thought the girls did a great job of getting it in there to her (Brittany Harris). I forget how may assists we had, but we had a lot and that was due to the fact we were getting inside to Brittany. But I thought the girls did a good job of finding the open man and also getting her the ball and she finished extremely well. In fact, I think she shot 90 percent."
Harris connected on 16-of-19 (84 percent) from the floor, most of those coming under the basket. Dexter took advantage of Clearwater's aggressive defense with soft lob passes over the defender to Harris under the basket. The Lady 'Cats finished the game with 19 assists.
"In that 1-3-1 we try to take advantage of getting that lob play in there and we got it to her quit a bit off of that and she scored with it," Allen added.
Dexter (9-1) took control of the game early, bolting to a 23-3 first quarter lead and expanding the advantage to 43-12 at half-time. Dexter tacked on another 23 points in the third for a 66-17 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play where the mercy clock was brought into play.
"I thought we did good defensively," Allen noted. "I didn't think we were as active as the other night, but still did a good job defensively."
Clearwater did something Dexter's first two opponents (Malden and Doniphan) couldn't. Score over 20 points. That was due mainly to the efforts of the Lady Tigers' Lexi Morris.
"That number 23 (Morris), she's definitely a great ball player and she hit some shots, especially early on," Allen said of the Clearwater sophomore who scored 17 on the night. " I thought we wore her down quit a bit and made it a litter tougher on her toward the end of the game. But for the most part, I thought we did pretty good on defense."
Morris is leading the tournament in scoring with a 24.7 points per game average. Harris, who has only been playing about three quarter a game, is Dexter's leading scorer in the tournament with a 18.3 average. Dexter has been playing 12 players, which limits each players court time to about three quarters.
The Lady 'Cats had 11 different players score against the Lady Tigers as Allen went to his bench early and often. Erika Cobb was the only other Dexter player in double figures with 10.
Alison Jarrell is the only other Dexter player listed among the tournament's scoring leaders with a 10.3 average through the first three games.