Dobson girls basketball had their perfect spoiled by Hamilton back in December, losing 51-50.
The Mustangs responded by rattling off 20 straight wins, with the lone blemish on their regular season being that loss to the Huskies.
Same teams, but different results in the quarterfinals of the playoffs Wednesday, as Dobson edged out the Hamilton, 45-41. The Mustangs are packed with big game experience with 10 seniors on the roster, and it showed in crunch time.
“When you’ve been through it and you’re a senior now, you’re just going to play,” Dobson head girls basketball coach Tyler Dumas said. “They did a great job of responding the way they needed to. They just need to make more plays than the other team.”
Deep playoff runs the past few years gave Dobson a sense of familiarity and experience to build confidence late in the season, even after a loss in sectionals to Ironwood.
“Last year, we got to this point, and we said, ‘Yeah, we got this.’ We walked in, we’ve done it before, we can do it again. Just that confidence helped us,” Dobson senior forward Monay Mariscal said. “It wasn’t cockiness, it was…(we) believe in ourselves, believe in the team, and we can come out and get the win.”
Despite the experience, it was a slow start for the Mustangs. However, in the third quarter, they were able to take the lead and fend off a late push by Hamilton to advance to the semifinals.
“We didn’t play very well, and we just beat the third-seeded team,” Dumas said. “We still didn’t finish. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we found a way to win. So we don’t have to worry about being perfect, we just have to worry about putting ourselves in a position to win games.”
Sixth-seeded Dobson will take on second-seeded Liberty in the semifinals on Friday night.