SHS Girls Erase Fort, 57-48
STUARTS DRAFT – A perfect free-throw shooting night and a furious 21-4 run during the third quarter wasn’t enough for the Lady Indians.
Not on this night.
Not against a top-seeded Spotswood High School squad that hasn’t lost to an in-state public school since falling to R.E. Lee in the regional semifinals 52-51 on Feb. 23, 2012.
Without SHS calling a timeout, senior Tayler Dodson simply changed up the offense on the floor as the Trailblazers scored the final eight points of the third quarter and went on to defeat Fort Defiance 57-48 in the Conference 29 semifinals Thursday night at Stuarts Draft.
Dodson scored a game-high 22 points and had nine rebounds for the Blazers (20-1) in an elimination game that had her on edge the entire day.
“I was scared all day. I watched film seven times,” said Dodson, who has committed to play basketball at George Mason. “I was so nervous, like I couldn’t even stand it. I don’t know if it’s more of a senior thing. It finally sets in that it’s win or go home and it could be the last time you put your jersey on. I was so nervous. I honestly, I felt they could beat us. I really truly did.”
With its third victory over Fort this season, SHS clinched a berth in the 3A West regional tournament and advanced to face Broadway in the conference championship game at 6:30 p.m. today at Monticello.
SHS’s only loss this season was against The Miller School, a private school in Albemarle County. Last year’s sole loss en route to a Division 3 state title? Germantown Academy, a Philadelphia prep power.
Senior forwards Devon Byrd and Megan Good – with plenty of playoff experience in volleyball and basketball – did all they could to will the Indians back after falling behind 22-6 in the first half.
Byrd and Good each converted old-fashioned three-point plays to get Fort (16-6) going in the third quarter. Good took over the game at that point, scoring seven unanswered points on her own. Then, she assisted Byrd on a basket that cut the deficit to 27-20.
Spotswood’s Elizabeth Dofflemyer answered on a drive, but Good responded with a pair of jumpers. Senior Rebecca Wenger knocked down a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from there to tie the game at 29-29, sending the Fort fans into a frenzy.
But the Blazers switched to an offense designed to pull defenders toward the perimeter to free up space for Dofflemyer to drive.
“We never looked shook,” SHS coach Chris Dodson said. “I went to call a timeout and they said, ‘We got this.’ Tayler said, ‘I got it. We got it.’ And we moved forward. So hats off to our girls for maintaining their composure.”
SHS retook the lead on a bucket by Anna Patterson off an inbounds with 2:19 to go in the third quarter and the Blazers never looked back. SHS never trailed.
Dodson made three free throws to close the third quarter after Good fouled her on a 3-pointer at the buzzer, allowing SHS to go ahead 37-29.
“It was a huge swing,” said Dodson, who combined with Dofflemyer to score Spotswood’s first 19 points.
Byrd led four Fort scorers with 16 points. Good added 15, Wenger had nine and sophomore Tiffany Tayler chipped in eight on four field goals.
Good 6 3-3 15, Taylor 4 0-0 8, Byrd 4 8-8 16, Wenger 2 4-4 9. Totals 16 15-15 48.
Patterson 2 2-6 6, Lindsay 1 0-0 2, Dofflemyer 5 6-8 17, Lam 2 0-0 5, Dodson 6 10-13 22, Jenkins 1 3-4 5. Totals 17 21-31 57.
Fort Defiance 2 6 21 19 — 48
Spotswood 6 16 15 20 — 57
3-Pointers—Fort 1 (Wenger); SHS 2 (Dofflemyer, Lam). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Fort 25 (Good, Wenger 7); SHS 24 (Dodson 9). Total Fouls—Fort 14; SHS 11.