DEXTER - Five days after a disappointing loss, the Dexter girls basketball team rolled to a big win.
It took the Tigers a quarter to get into a rhythm, though. Once they did, Mallory Ames' 18 points and a big second-period run were the keys to a 60-32 victory over Hermon Tuesday at the high school gymnasium.
Dexter entered last Friday's game against rival Central of Corinth with a 72-game regular-season winning streak, including an 8-0 record this year, but fell to the Devils 46-45.
That game was on the minds of the Tigers, who are now 9-1. In fact, the loss may have lingered a bit too long at the start of Tuesday's game.
"I think people were a little timid coming off of Friday night and a little timid to be the one to take the shot," said Dexter senior guard Sabrina Cote, who scored 11 points. "We were looking for something short, like layups, and when we don't shoot outside from the start we tend to go cold."
The Hawks (6-5) took advantage. Erica Armstrong hit two mid-range jumpers early in the game and freshman Hillary Keith drained an 18-footer to give Hermon a 10-8 lead at the end of the quarter. Armstrong extended that to 12-8 when she made another jumper early in the second.
But that was the last basket Hermon would score in the half as the Hawks had nine second-quarter turnovers. Cote and Tracy Mountain of Dexter scored off steals twice in a 50-second span to tie the game and the Tigers scored 15 unanswered points for a 28-12 lead at halftime.
"They capitalized on our turnovers," Hermon coach Margie Deabay said. "We didn't take care of the ball and we forced passes. They made good on them." It also helped that Dexter coach Jody Grant called a timeout after Mountain tied the game. "He talked about picking it up because, we don't want to get into a Friday night situation," Cote said. "So people smartened up and we played a little more aggressively."
Cote scored eight of her 11 points in the second half and had a game-high nine rebounds. Forward Kate Poirier also scored 11 points.
Ames, a 6-foot-6 junior center, had four points in the first half but went 7-for-7 from the floor in the second half. She added four blocks. Dexter had at least 13 of its 28 field goals off assists.
The Hawks played a 1-3-1 zone in the first half to keep the Tigers from getting the ball to Ames. Hermon went to man-to-man after halftime.
"The 1-3-1 is more like double-teaming us, so it's easier when they play man," Ames said. "... A lot of teams just pay attention to me because I'm so big but we have a lot of good players and a lot of people who can shoot."
Cote had the evening's premier matchup as she guarded Hermon standout Cassie White in Dexter's man defense.
White finished with four points on 1-for-6 shooting.
"I just tried to deny the ball and get into good defensive position," Cote said.
Ashley Kelley led the Hawks with 11 points and six rebounds.
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