BCT: Dexter makes most of well-rounded performance to beat Puxico 73-44

Dexter’s Andrew Ellinghouse (left) and Puxico’s Joel Bannister (23) fight for a rebound in front of Dexter’s Garrett Henson during the first quarter of the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament first-round game Thursday at Bloomfield High School.

BLOOMFIELD — The third-seeded Dexter boys basketball team showcased its offensive abilities Thursday at the 63rd Bloomfield Christmas Tournament

The Bearcats hit shots from outside and inside, grabbed rebounds and scored putbacks and raced downcourt for easy layups in a 73-44 first-round win over 14th-seeded Puxico.

“We definitely need to score in a variety of ways,” Dexter coach Chad Allen said. “For the most part, we’ve been a perimeter-oriented team. We’ve got to be able to establish an inside game. I thought we did a little better job of that tonight.”

The Bearcats (3-4) will face Doniphan in the quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Puxico (2-6) will face Twin Rivers in a consolation quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Friday. Doniphan beat Twin Rivers 59-54 later Thursday.

Dexter went 4 of 8 from outside the arc in the first quarter to take a 29-8 advantage. Andrew Ellinghouse, Jackson Allen, Dylan Sitze and Cole Nichols sank 3-pointers.

Ellinghouse scored a game-high 19 points, Nichols finished with 15 and Garrett Henson had 11.

Ellinghouse and Henson made putbacks, and Ellinghouse and Nichols finished fast breaks with layups. Both layups came on turnovers by the Indians.

The Bearcats went 4 for 6 from the free-throw line in the first, including five straight to end the quarter.

Dexter’s full-court pressure defense made a difference early.

“We knew they would come out hard and I didn’t realize they could shoot the ball quite as well as they did in the first quarter,” Puxico coach Jim Jones said. “It’s tough for our kids to be as tough and physical as Dexter or Bernie. … As we move forward, we need to be more physical around the basket.”

Nolan Foster gave the Indians a spark to start the second quarter with back-to-back baskets, but they never came closer than 17 points (29-12) the rest of the way.

Foster finished with 10 points. Ethan Helm paced Puxico with 11 and Matt Caldwell had 10.

Dexter showed good ball movement in the second and third quarters.

Nichols and Ellinghouse provided assists on Henson baskets in the second quarter, and Jackson Allen, Sitze and Carter Dorton delivered assists in the third.

The Bearcats led 49-22 at halftime and 70-33 after three quarters.

Puxico8141111— 44

PUXICO — Caldwell 2(2) 0-2 10. Helm 4(1) 0-0 11. Andrews 2(0) 0-1 4. Plunkett 1(0) 1-1 3. Foter 1(0) 1-2 3. Zych 0(1) 0-0 3. Bannister 1(0) 1-2 3. Pierre 5(0) 0-0 19. Totals 15(4) 2-6 44.

DEXTER — Boles 2(0) 2-2 6. Ellinghouse 8(1) 0-2 19. Sitze 0(1) 0-0 3. Allen 0(3) 0-0 9. Henson 5(0) 1-2 11. Dorton 1(0) 0-0 2. Wyman 1(0) 0-0 2. Nichols 3(2) 3-4 15. Driskill 2(0) 2-2 6. Totals 22-7 8-12 73.

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