The Dexter boys’ basketball team defeated host Pioneer 50-45 on Friday night as junior Colin Parachek scored a team-high 24 points to lead the Dreadnaughts to an impressive win on the road against a quality opponent.
“When I got to the SEC, this is where I started so it felt good to be back here and get the win,” said Dexter head coach Jason Rushton of his return to Pioneer. “Coach (Rich) Marion has them playing some good defense over there but I think we’ve been playing pretty well all year long. Our defense travels and our energy travels, so I think that’s great.”
Parachek, the outstanding quarterback for the Dexter football team, proved he can play hoops as well with his best offensive performance of the season. He spread out his 24 points throughout the game and also grabbed nine rebounds in the win.
“Colin has been one of the most improved players offensively for us,” Rushton said. “He has been solid. He’s starting to hit a lot of outside shots so that’s giving him confidence, and he’s been really good in the post. A lot of our coaches have worked hard with him in practice and it’s really starting to show.”
Marco Lucchesi had 7 points and Aidan Dexter and Brendan Parachek each scored six for Dexter in the victory.
Macail Fly led Pioneer with 22 points including 10 in the third quarter. He was 6 of 13 shooting from the floor and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. Rasheed Sampson had nine points and five rebounds and Aidan Lee, Conor Easthope (6 rebounds, 3 steals) and Tapio Heionen-Smith (four rebounds) each scored four for the Pioneers.
The Dreadnaughts improved to 4-1 on the season. Pioneer falls to 3-4.
The game started slow as neither team was able to score double digits in the first quarter. Koebe Moore, Pioneer’s senior starting guard, was injured in the first 2o minutes of the game and would not return. Dexter held just a 9-8 lead after the opening quarter behind Parachek’s four points and two rebounds. Fly filled in for Moore for the rest of the night.
After going back and forth at the beginning of the second quarter, Dexter found their rhythm with a 7-0 run to put the Dreadnaughts up 20-14 with 2:03 remaining in the second quarter. Pioneer answered with a 4-0 run of their own, including a mid-range jumper from Fly. Lucchesi scored at the rim with 5 seconds left to put Dexter up 22-18 at halftime.
Despite Pioneer’s struggle to score for most of the night, Fly continued to lead the way, scoring 10 points in the third quarter, which included an and-one that was set up by an incredible crossover. Aidan Dexter knocked down two three-pointers in the third quarter, helping Dexter hold a tight lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Fly knocked down two free throws with 5:49 left to tie the game 37-37. Parachek hit a three-pointer from the left wing to put Dexter up 40-39 with 5:03 left in the game. The dagger would come about 3 minutes later when Lucchesi connected on a fastbreak three-pointer to give Dexter a 46-43 advantage.
“Right before that, I got into Marco a little bit and told him to wake up,” said Rushton. “He responded and woke up. That was a big time play from one of our seniors, one of our captains, and we really needed that so it was great. There were a couple of games that we took bad shots late and we’ve really been focusing on that in practice recently.”
Pioneer went down the court and Fly tried to attack the rim but he came up short and Dexter rebounded the ball. The Dreadnaughts stalled for the next minute and then made four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Dexter will return to action on Tuesday at Jackson. Their following game will be on the road versus defending state champions Lincoln on Friday.
Pioneer, who has lost two straight games, will try to get back on the right track at Skyline on Tuesday. It’s part of a boys-girls doubleheader with the girls playing at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ game.