Baskets were tough to come by. Players were diving on the floor. Both teams played with as much intensity on defense as they did on offense and both well-coached teams came ready to play.
Dexter and Pioneer showed why both programs are consistently good and why both teams are among the best in the SEC Red Division this season. The Dreadnaughts fell behind early but kept battling and used a strong fourth quarter to shoot this game into the win column with a 41-38 victory over visiting Pioneer on Tuesday night.
While there was a storm brewing outside, there was plenty of thunder and lightning inside as the Pioneers were able to get some points in the board early against an aggressive Dexter man-to-man defense. A steal on the press by Pioneer resulted in a layup and a 6-2 lead – it also resulted in a Dexter timeout.
The first quarter ended with Pioneer leading 15-9.
Pioneer’s excellent senior guard Lauren DeWolf hit a triple, but Dexter’s excellent senior forward Sydney Pnacek answered with a triple at the other end to cut the deficit to 20-16 with 5:18 left in the first half.
The Dreadnaughts outscored the Pioneers 10-9 in the second quarter but still trailed 24-19 at halftime.
Dexter outscored Pioneer 7-5 in a low-scoring, defensive third quarter, but a 15-9 fourth-quarter run gave them the three-point win.
Pnacek made 3 of 8 triples and finished with a team-high 21 points for Dexter. She also had five rebounds. Senior Brianna Rodriguez had nine points, and junior Chloe Perry had seven points and two steals. Alena Blumberg and Maggie Lewis each had two points. Maddi Valentine had a team-high eight rebounds and four steals.
DeWolf led the Pioneers with 14 points. Savannah Brewer and Emmanuel Davis each had seven points. K’Dia Harris had six points and Lily Jones and Jasmyne Gatson each scored two for the Pioneers.