Blazers Roll, 72-43; Gobblers Prevail, 56-53

Posted: February 26, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Spotswood High School girls’ basketball team hasn’t trailed much this season, especially during the playoffs. But, even though the Trailblazers aren’t used to it, they’re not too bad at handling it.

“We’re good at keeping our composure,” SHS senior guard Rachel Lindsay said. “We don’t freak out.”

She’s right. They don’t — at least they didn’t Tuesday night in the 3A West regional semifinals.

After losing the lead early in the second quarter, Spotswood outscored Northside by 30 points the rest of the way en route to a 72-43 blowout victory at Monticello High School.

“We just got mentally focused and we just did our thing,” SHS junior guard Elizabeth Dofflemyer said. “First half, we weren’t mentally focused, and second quarter, we got it together.”

Senior forward Tayler Dodson scored a game-high 25 points, making nine field goals and going 7-for-10 at the foul line, to lead the Blaz ers (24-1), who advanced to the final Friday against Broadway. The schools hope to play the final at a neutral site in the Harrisonburg area rather than at Monticello, as originally scheduled.

The Gobblers beat Hidden Valley 56-53 in the other semifinal at Monticello on Tuesday.

With the wins, both SHS and BHS secured berths in the 3A state semifinals next week, at a date and site to be determined.

What changed during the Blazers’ run?

“We came out with intensity,” said Lindsay, who had 10 points, many coming off fast breaks. “... It’s really important for us to get intense. It can be anything — a steal, a layup.”

Dofflemyer added 22 points — including two 3-pointers that provided separation in the third quarter — for Spotswood, which outscored the Conference 31 champion Vikings (16-10) 59-29 after they took the lead early in the second quarter on a layup by senior guard Taylor Carter.

SHS, which won the Division 3 state title last year under the old playoff format, answered quickly.

Dodson hit a free throw to tie it with 6:18 left in the first half, and 10 seconds later, she hit two more to give the Trailblazers the lead for good. They built a 14-point lead by halftime, closing the quarter on their biggest run of the game: a 17-4 stretch that blew the game open. Before that, it was tight. SHS never led by more than seven, and the Vikings cut into it with a 12-6 run to eventually go ahead 14-13.

But Spotswood countered, and it, apparently, didn’t do anything special beyond being opportunistic.

“They just gave it to us,” Dofflemyer said of the run, which was powered by Northside turnovers that turned into transition baskets. “We just ran with what they gave us.”

The Trailblazers’ hot streak continued in the third quarter, where they outscored NHS 23-14 on the strength of an 11-4 run to open the period. And that’s where Lindsay did a lot of her damage, playing stout defense while getting out in front on numerous fast breaks.

“I happened to be in the right place at the right time on a lot of those buckets,” Lindsay said.

SHS coach Chris Dodson described Lindsay as kind of a secret weapon.

“Rachel is our hidden gem,” he said. “I bet she doesn’t even show up on half the people’s scouting reports, but she always plays defense on the best player.”

SHS never led by fewer than 13 points in the second half and the Blazers were up by as many as 31— that came with 40.3 seconds left in the game on a pair of free throws by Addisen DeLucas.

Senior forward Carla Anderson led NHS with 11 points, and Carter had 10.


Bowden 1 1-2 3, Grubb 0 2-4 2, Carter 2 6-7 10, Anderson 3 3-4 11, Hueston 4 0-1 9, Smith 2 0-0 6, Stanley 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 12-18 43.


Patterson 4 1-2 9, Lindsay 5 0-1 10, Dofflemyer 8 4-5 22, Lam 1 0-0 2, Dodson 9 7-10 25, Houlbrooke 1 0-1 2, DeLucas 1 0-1 2, Hagan 0 0-2 0. Totals 28 14-23 72.

Northside    10 11 14   8 — 43

Spotswood 13 22 23 14 — 72

3-point goals — Northside 3 (Smith 2, Hueston 1), Spotswood 2 (Dofflemyer). Fouled out—Northside (Hueston). Technical fouls—Spotswood (Dodson).

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