Bangor, ME- The Dexter Tigers girls basketball team made just enough free throws to defeat the Sumner Tigers 38-36 in a class C quarterfinal game Tuesday morning at the Bangor Auditorium.
Dexter only made four out of 14 from the free throw line but Jordyn Bell and Michaela White each hit one in the last minute to secure the victory.
"Lately they (free throws) have been fallen for me. I would have liked to hit the second one,"Bell said. "You need to go to the line thinking this one is going to go in. That is what I do everytime."
Dexter coach Jody Grant added, "We hit just enough. We would like to be able to go to the line and hit a couple in a row which I do not think we have done since last year."
Bell gave Dexter a 21-19 lead when she hit a running layup with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. That started a 7-0 Dexter run.
Sumner cut the Dexter lead to 30-29 when Jordan Merchant hit a layup with 4:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers from Sumner were able to stay in the game thanks to a 41-25 rebounding advantage.
"We just didn't rebound. We didn't compete on the defensive backboard,"Grant said. "They killed us on the defensive backboard."
Lauren Crane finished with 10 of the 25 rebounds for Dexter. The Tigers from Dexter will take on Jillian Woodward and the Orono Red Riots in a semifinal game on Friday, February 22nd at 2 p.m.
"We didn't block out very well today.We need to stand our ground,"Crane said. "We are going to be facing teams with size. Jillian Woodward for example."
Crane nailed a three pointer with 2:23 remaining to give Dexter a 36-31 lead.
Dexter played strong defense in the final minutes and hit just enough free throws to walk out of the Auditorium with a tournament victory.
"We played hard enough and had enough enthusiasm to pull of a win,"Crane said. "In the tournament that is all that matters. It is not how you play it is if you win or not.
Grant added, "If we don't play well and win I will take care of that tomorrow in practice. Just keep winning and advance. Crazy things happen in this building."
Dexter (19-0) defeated Orono twice during the regular season. White scored 12 points in a 51-42 Tigers victory on December 22nd.
Bell and White each scored 14 points in a 43-39 Dexter victory in the regular season finale on February 7th. Starting point guard Tasha Pratt was out for the finale with an ankle injury.
"Last time we played them it was a close game. This time Tasha (Pratt) should be back and that puts me back where I should be.with her back in the game," :Bell said. "We should be a little more comfortable this time."
Crane added, "The second time we played them we were not at full strength. Tasha was out with an injury. Everyone is back. We are looking forward to playing a team we are familiar with."
The friendly trash talking has already started between the rivals.
Crane said, "Jillian (Woodward) and I are friends so we were friendly trash talking to one another."
White led the Tigers with 13 points, five steals and two blocks. Crane recorded 11 points and four steals. Bell added nine points, six rebounds, three steals and one block.
Pratt finished with three points, three assists and three steals. Abbie Melvin chipped in with two points, three rebounds, one steal and one block.
Jordan Merchant led Sumner with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Savana Turner and Taylor Davis scored eight points each. Davis pulled down nine rebounds. Turner had five rebounds and three steals.
Jessica West recorded seven points, five rebounds and three assists. Taya Moore finished with one point and eight rebounds.
Sumner finishes the season with a record of 12-8.