Opportunistic Dexter races past Bloomfield boys basketball 69-32 in SCAA matchup

Dexter's Andrew Ellinghouse (right) outraces Bloomfield's Brandon Wright (left) and Sam Whitaker to the basket on a fast break during the first quarter Tuesday night at Bloomfield High School.

BLOOMFIELD — The Dexter boys basketball team wasn’t content with forcing the Bloomfield Wildcats to make errant throws.

At least three times in the first half, the Bearcats chased after balls going out of bounds and passed to a teammate who started a fast break, resulting in an easy scoring opportunity.

The Bearcats sought to convert turnovers into points and rolled to a 69-32 rout of Bloomfield in an SCAA matchup Tuesday night at Bloomfield High School.

“We were definitely pursuing pretty hard at times,” Dexter coach Chad Allen said. “Once we got active, we looked pretty good. Like I told the guys, we’ve got to play hard all the time. We’ve got to keep working. Hopefully, we’ll keep progressing as the year goes along.”

The Wildcats committed 18 first-half turnovers, and Dexter turned those into 19 points while building a 46-21 halftime lead.

With the victory, Dexter (7-4, 2-0 SCAA) extended its SCAA regular-season win streak to 24 games and overall win streak to six.

Bloomfield (1-10, 0-2) lost its seventh straight game.

The Bearcats will host Bernie (11-3, 2-0) in a battle of the only two undefeated teams in conference play on Friday at Dexter. The winner will likely earn the top seed for the upcoming SCAA tournament.

Andrew Ellinghouse scored a game-high 16 points for the Bearcats. He scored 14 of those in the first half. Garrett Henson scored 12 with 10 coming before halftime, and Ryder Boles finished with 11, including three 3-pointers.

The Bearcats finished with 10 3-pointers. Jackson Allen sank three, Dylan Sitze had two and Peyton Driskill one.

Jamison Dodd paced Bloomfield with 10 points.

If the Bearcats showed any rust from their 15-day layoff since winning the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament on Dec. 30, they shook it off in the first couple of minutes.

Bloomfield held leads of 2-0 on a basket by Jeffrey Jarrell and 4-3 on two free throws by Brandon Wright. Wright’s 3-pointer tied the score at 7, but the Bearcats allowed only two more points in the quarter.

Dexter closed the first with a 19-2 run to take a 26-9 lead into the second quarter.

“To me coming out, it seemed like we were just flat-footed,” Allen said. “We weren’t really active. We switched defensively to our full-court matchup. I thought we were a lot more active and that got us going.”

Henson scored six of those 19 points, Jackson Allen and Sitze made 3-pointers, and six of those points came off Bloomfield’s nine first-quarter turnovers.

The Bearcats outshot Bloomfield 18-8 in the first quarter because of the turnovers, and they produced 10 field goals — three 3-pointers — compared to Bloomfield’s three.

After Wright opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, the Wildcats committed five straight turnovers, and Dexter’s lead ballooned to 37-12.

The Bearcats took a 46-21 lead into halftime.

“That’s something that we’ve struggled with for most of the season,” Bloomfield coach Brandon Crook said of the turnovers, “but Dexter is good defensively, in my opinion. They made things hard on us and we did not handle the pressure nearly as well as we should have. It shows by the number of turnovers we had and the margin of victory.”

Dexter shot 64% (14 for 22) from inside the arc in the first half and 38% (5 for 13) from outside the arc.

The Bearcats outscored Bloomfield 17-4 in the third quarter and took a commanding 63-25 lead into the fourth.

The clock ran continuously in the fourth quarter because of the 30-point mercy rule.

The Wildcats played without two starters — Parker Heaton and Colton Hyslop — and reserve Dawson Hill.

“We’ve just had some nagging stuff,” Crook said. “We had a couple of guys playing through injury tonight, also. The injury bug has bitten us. We’re making the most of it and trying to play through it.”

Dexter played without Carter Dorton, who twisted his ankle during a recent practice. Coach Allen said that Dorton is day-to-day.

JV — Dexter defeated Bloomfield 56-39 to improve to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in SCAA play.

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