2/7/2023 0 Comments
‘Dubson’ downs Notre Dame Prep in first round of AIA Girls Basketball Open Tournament
Ahdiyah Chee and Aaliyah Garcia combined for 30 of the Mustangs' 50 points
The Dobson student section showed out for the first-ever round of the AIA Open State Championship Tournament on Tuesday night. The many students and parents wearing ‘Dubson’ shirts exited the gym smiling after the team beat Notre Dame Preparatory 50-42.
“We wanted to make sure we plugged the middle, we knew we couldn’t get to the rim and our threes weren’t falling tonight either,” Dobson head coach Henry Bribiescas said. “We were trying to concentrate on getting some ball screens and midrange.”
In back-and-forth fashion, it seemed every time the Mustangs scored a field goal the Saints stormed down the court to immediately answer. That was until Dobson defined the game on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter with around six minutes left. Chee, Garcia, Jaziah Billey, Sophia Fonseca and Isabella Jensen all made baskets during the run.
“We have a lot of different girls who can score and I kept trying to utilize that and run the shot clock down. In the old days we could just sit on it, but not anymore,” Bribiescas said.
Billey, a sophomore point guard, finished with 10 points and described the team’s ability to excel in transition as what led to the 10-0 Dobson run.
After it, the teams exchanged multiple fouls each, slowing Dobson’s path to victory.
Dobson fought to comeback deficits throughout both halves. They led by three points just once in the first half and couldn’t get that lead back until 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
No. 13 Dobson’s next game is a road matchup against No. 4 Xavier Prep at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7. A win would lock them into the Open Tournament and send them to the quarterfinals, while a loss would mean they play in the 6A state tournament beginning Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Dobson’s play of the game came in the 2nd quarter when Aaliyah Garcia drained a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. Ahdiyah Chee finished with 17 points, followed by Garcia with 13. Billey stands at a modest 5’4” but she and her undersized squad boxed out the Saints to overcome their height disadvantage.
“You just have to know their personnel and especially with bigs, you just gotta watch the ball. I know I’m quick enough to get to that position ... I’m not as tall, but I just have to keep fighting through that,” Billey said.
The Saints will play in the 5A state tournament because they won the 5A Northeast Valley title.
Notre Dame’s Ava Pautz led the Saints scoring 17 points and Olivia Frankel scored nine off of three 3-pointers.
“We just couldn’t stop (Pautz), we zoned her, we manned, we just had to do what we had to do to slow her down,” Bribiescas said.
The student section matched the team’s energy and tried to play mind games with Notre Dame throughout. Their colorful chants included “you-can’t-do-that” after Saints fouls, “pres-sure” during Saints free throws and of course, “notre lame.”
Track athlete Avidan Hipolito’s favorite chant to yell was ‘pack-the-bus-ses’ as the game winded down.
“We always come up with really creative and exciting chants to get us into the game, so I just think that’s the best part of coming out,” Hipolito said.
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