Dobson's girls basketball team didn't shoot well and at times didn't take care of the ball as well as it can Friday afternoon in its bid to reach the final of the White Division at the 18th annual Nike Tournament of Champions.
What wasn't missing was another quality defensive effort and the Lady Mustangs rode that to a 43-24 victory over Lynwood High (Calif). at Chandler High School.
Dobson (13-0) advances to play Desert Vista (11-0) in a the White Division championship game. The matchup is Saturday (Dec. 21) at 10:30 a.m. at Hamilton High.
"I know they'll come out and pressure us," Dobson coach Tyler Dumas said of Desert Vista. "I'm excited we get to play them in a game that doesn't count for power points, but is for school pride. I think it's a good matchup that everybody in the state wants to see."
Desert Vista qualified for the final by pounding Vanden High (Fairfield, Calif.), 58-42. The Lady Thunder have won every game they've played by a double-digit margin. Dobson can say the same thing save two games. It won those by eight and nine points.
Dobson and Lynwood played a close first quarter filled with poor shooting and turnovers. Each team made 3 of 14 field goals and committed nine turnovers. Dobson led after one, 8-6. The Lady Mustangs improved their advantage to 20-13 at halftime with both teams shooting under 25 percent from the field (Lynwood just 17 percent) to that point.
In the third period Dobson stretched the lead to 34-21, handling the ball better and still clamping down defensively be it a a zone press, trapping press or good help man-to-man in the half court. Junior Dyesha Stahley took three charges and helped clamp down on Lynwood's leading scorer Jazmine Johnson, Johnson finished with six points (half her average) and fouled out with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
"We were tight at the beginning and I think they were, too," Dumas said. "As poorly as we shot, missing threes and some easy shots, I was still pleased with the defensive effort. It was outstanding. Going forward we need to make better decisions offensively."
Senior guard Tori Lloyd led Dobson with 11 points and junior Alexis Todd chipped in with 10. Senior Miyah Leith added eight points, but she and Lloyd who are usually prolific from 3-point range found the going tough. Lloyd was the only one of the two to sink a three in the game. That came early in the second period. Priscilla Lopez led Lynwood with nine points.