Three freshmen making immediate impact for Dexter girls

Freshman Cheyenne Beem (23), Peyton Grant (5) and Avery Herrick (20), pictured during a Jan. 22 game, have been instrumental in the Tigers’ success this season.
Stuart Hedstrom

The Dexter High School girls basketball team was a work in progress at the beginning of the season and the Tigers still are according to coach Jody Grant.

“We’re still trying to get better,” said Grant who had to replace dominant center Megan Peach off last year’s Class C North championship team. “We’re still young and inexperienced.

“Some nights we play pretty well, other nights we struggle with some different things, some different situations,” added Grant.

The good news for the youthful Tigers is that they start three freshmen and own a 15-2 record after Monday night’s 39-34 win over Bucksport.

Their only two losses have come to Central of Corinth, which dropped down from B to C this season.

All three freshman have been valuable contributors and that bodes well for the future.

“They have all had solid freshman seasons. They’ve grown but they still have a long way to go,” said Grant.

His daughter, Peyton, continues to be the team’s leading scorer. The 5-foot-5 guard is averaging 18-20 points per game and is also the leader in assists with close to four a game.

“She has seen some junk defenses but has been willing to sacrifice in terms of not forcing up shots,” said Grant.

Avery Herrick is a 5-6 guard who is averaging 8-9 points, 6-7 rebounds and three assists, according to Grant.

“Avery is versatile. She is a good athlete,” said Grant.

The other freshman starter is 5-7 guard Cheyenne Beem, who is good for 6-7 rebounds and 3-4 points per game.

“Cheyenne is hard-nosed. She really provides us with a tremendous amount of toughness,” said Grant. “She always guards the other team’s best post player. She gets rebounds.

“Avery and Cheyenne complement each other pretty well,” added Grant.

The other starters are 5-10 senior forward Becca Batron, who leads the team in rebounds (10 per game), and dependable 5-4 senior guard Kaitlyn Webber, one of the assist leaders.

Another key to Dexter’s success has been a smothering man-to-man defense that has allowed an average of just 32.5 points per game.

“We just match-up and play,” said Grant. “We have (occasionally) gotten into a little foul trouble, which has hurt us.”

He said his players “work hard and they care.”

He isn’t sure what to expect in the tournament.

“We can beat a lot of teams but we can also lose to a lot of teams,” he said. “We keep trying to grow as the season goes along. We’ve played a decent schedule. We will be as prepared as we possibly can be.

“This will be a new experience for some of our kids. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the best time of the year,” said Grant. “We’ll see what happens.”