Bucksport ends Dexter boys’ three-game winning streak with second-half comeback

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    DEXTER — The Dexter Tigers boys basketball team seemingly had everything working in its favor during a Jan. 11 game against the Bucksport Golden Bucks at Guiski Gymnasium. Dexter had surged to third place in the Heal Point standings with three consecutive wins which included handing No. 2 Penquis their only loss earlier in the week.


Observer photo/Bill Pearson

    DRIVING FOR TWO — Dexter guard Matt Bartlett drives the lane for a basket on Jan. 11 against the Bucksport Golden Bucks. Dexter built a nine-point lead in the first half, but Bucksport rallied in the second half on the strength of an 18-0 run to earn a win in Eastern Maine Class C basketball action.

    The Tigers continued their strong play by building a 28-19 halftime against Bucksport. Dexter used a patient offense and a man-to-man defense to build their early lead. The Tigers had their opponents so exasperated it resulted in Bucksport coach Josh Tripp receiving a technical foul midway through the second quarter.

    But the Tigers weren’t able to sustain their early solid play in the second half as the Golden Bucks used their speed and physical play to wear down their hosts with an 18-0 run in the third quarter. Dexter couldn’t handle the increased Bucksport defensive pressure which resulted in Bucksport securing a 52-37 victory.

    Tripp believed the technical foul helped his team focus on the task on hand. He told his players at halftime it was up to them to turn the tide of the game,

    “I apologized for losing my composure and told them the game was all on them,” Tripp said. “Dexter had frustrated us with their patience on offense so we needed to become more aggressive on defense to cause turnovers and score some easy baskets in transition.”


Observer photo/Bill Pearson

    DEFENSIVE STANCE — Dexter forward Dylan Graffam defends the basket against Bucksport forward Jimmy Osgood on Jan. 11 during the Golden Bucks’ 52-37 victory at Guiski Gymnasium. Dexter won two out of three games last week to surge into third place in the Heal Point standings.

    It seemed the more pressure Bucksport applied the more Dexter started to wear down. Dexter managed only nine points in the second half as their halftime lead quickly evaporated. Dexter scored seven points in the third and two in the fourth quarter.

    What had started as a promising week for Dexter ended in disappointment as they lost to a team it’s battling in the standings. Dexter coach Peter Murray hoped a win would solidify his team’s position in the standings, instead it only complicated the Tigers’ chances to avoid a preliminary playoff game.

    “If you said we’d win two out of three in the beginning of the week that would’ve be great, but to lose like we did tonight is disappointing,” Murray said. “They are a tough, quick aggressive team and they just  wore us down to a point where we couldn’t score.”

    Forward Matt Crane led the Tigers with 10 points. Point guard Trevor Fogarty added nine, guard Bailey Spack had eight and forward Ethyn Gould scored five.

    Dexter traveled to  Piscataquis Community High in Guilford on Jan. 15  to play the 2-9 Pirates.

    Dexter ‘s next game will be against Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft on Friday, January 25.

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