Mesa Dobson beat a playoff jinx and Mountain Pointe to boot in the first round of the girls basketball state 5A-I girls playoffs Thursday night.
Dobson has not missed making the playoffs since 1999 and that tournament experience showed when the 10th seeded Mustangs beat the seventh seeded Pride 55-36 at Mountain Pointe.
“We’ve been in the championship situations and we’ve been in the state tournament before so we kind of knew but Mountain Pointe did a great job,” Dobson coach Tyler Dumas said.
Although the Mustangs were a lower seed, Dumas didn’t see his team’s victory as an upset.
“The way the power point system works and the Central Region is always tough, so that set it up,” Dumas added.
Dobson’s leading scorers all season, Andrea Jones and Kameron Knutson, finished with 11 and 13 points respectively, despite getting a breather in the fourth quarter after the Mustangs had a handle on the game.
“When our most prolific scorers went out we had some kids step in and get some baskets and finish some shots and made some rebounds,” Dumas added.
Jones is headed for Southern Utah and Knutson is going to University of San Diego next fall.
The Pride stayed with the Mustangs through most of the first half, but a 14-5 run in the third quarter opened things up for the Mustangs and Mountain Pointe couldn’t keep up with the pace.
Unlike Dobson, the Pride hadn’t been to the playoffs in four years.
“We came out a little timid and nervous,” Mountain Pointe coach Trevor Neider said. “We knew Dobson was a good team and they had playoff experience and we don’t. That was a big thing. It showed. We got rattled and Dobson looked level-headed all the way through.”
Mountain Pointe was 3-21 last season, but finished 25-4 this year.
“We had some goals and made them, but we picked the wrong night to go ice cold,” Neider added. “We had a couple of chances in the third quarter and couldn’t get over the hump.”
Mountain Pointe senior Katei Nemecek led all scorers with 19 points, but was the only Pride player in double figures.
“Johnelle Hannah paced the Mustangs with 15 points.”Dobson will meet the winner of the Tucson-Yuma Kofa game tonight on the road.
Score by quarters:
Dobson 14 11 11 19 – 55
Mt. Pointe 12 7 12 5 – 36
Dobson – Jonelle Hannah 15, Kameron Knutson 13, Andrea Jones 11, Katherine Hamilton 8, Delia Vasquez 6, Ali Smith 2.
Mountain Pointe – Katie Nemecek 19, Shanie Henderson 5, Gabby Johnson 4, Aleks Cataruzolo 4, Nikki Villescaz 4