SHS Wins State Title
Blazers Down Brunswick, 66-51
Spotswood High School's varsity girls basketball team celebrates its 2013 state basketball championsip win at the Siegel Center in Richmond Saturday afternoon. SHS defeated Brunswick 65-61 to bring home the team's second state title since 2005. Photo by Jason Lenhart / DN-R.
And why not? The Trailblazers have waited long enough.
After losing in the state-title game in 2010 and falling in the semifinals in 2011, Spotswood finally got that elusive championship Saturday morning at the Siegel Center, grinding past Brunswick for a 66-51 win and the Division 3 title.
“It feels great,” SHS point guard Bailey Williams said. “... I was really nervous before this game. Win or lose, I knew that I was gonna cry and be really emotional … because either way, I’m not going to play with [this team] again for the rest of my life, and this a great team, and it feels so much better to win than lose.”
Spotswood (29-1) won its first state title in 2005 and have been flirting with No. 2 since 2010. On Saturday, led by three double-figure scorers and with a grinding effort, the Blazers got it. They led by as many as 16 points with 3:15 to play and never trailed against Region I champion Brunswick (26-3).
“We’re used to being ahead, so when we were behind … we weren’t really used to it,” said Brunswick junior forward Desiray Bennett, who led BHS with 22 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out with 1:49 left.
Williams led SHS with 21 points. The North Carolina-Greensboro-bound senior also had nine rebounds, five assists and two steals to cap an all-time great career at Spotswood. Williams is SHS’s career scoring leader and made her third state final four appearance this week.
“Bailey is a special part of the program,” Chris Dodson said. “She’s the leading scorer in school history. She holds 8,000 school records for us, and for her to go out on top as a champion means so much to me. And then … to be able to go out to win a state championship with my daughter is great.”
Junior forward Tayler Dodson, Chris Dodson’s daughter, had 14 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocks for SHS, which shot 52.1 percent (25-of-48) for the game and 60 percent (12-of-20) in the second half. The Blazers, slowing the game down and dictating an ordered, deliberate tempo, put the game away in the fourth quarter, outscoring run-and-gun Brunswick 14-7.
Tayler Dodson was a key, especially early, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the first half.
“I think [Tayler Dodson] was one of the better post players we faced all year,” Brunswick coach Juliana Lashley-Grant said. “Her ability to get posted and distribute the ball — overall, I think she was probably the main factor. We probably should have double-teamed her a little more in the first half.”
The Bulldogs cut SHS’s lead to 46-42 with 1:56 left in the third quarter, but Spotswood responded with a 11-2 run to push its lead back to 13. Brunswick — which shot 29.4 percent (20-of-68) — never challenged again.
“Going into the fourth quarter, we wanted to still run our offense,” Chris Dodson said. “We wanted to still be deliberate and run our offense, but we thought — we said it all along — we thought that the more deliberate we were, the less disciplined they would be. They would lose discipline with each pass.”
Elizabeth Dofflemyer had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and again came up with timely baskets.
The sophomore guard hit a 3-pointer to end the first half and give SHS a 33-22 lead. She hit another 3 to put SHS up by 10 at the 4:16 mark in the third and then converted an and-1 to give the Blazers a 15-point lead with 3:34 left in the game that all but clinched the state title.
“It was just exciting,” Dofflemyer said. “We’ve experienced state games in AAU and stuff, but it’s nothing like high school state games — so much more exciting and enthusiastic.”
Walker 3-14 0-0 7, Bennett 9-20 4-8 22, Eshelman 5-17 4-6 15, Stith 1-9 0-0 2, Banks 2-4 1-2 5, Moore 0-3 0-0 0, Mays 0-1 0-1 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-68 9-17 51.
Williams 7-13 6-8 21, Lindsay 3-5 1-5 7, Dofflemyer 5-7 1-1 14, Dodson 5-14 4-6 14, Probst 4-6 0-2 8, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Jenkins 1-3 0-0 2, Lam 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 25-48 12-24.
Brunswick 9 13 22 7 — 51
Spotswood 15 18 19 14 — 66
3-Point Goals—Brunswick 2-11 (Walker 1-5, Eshelman 1-5, Moore 0-1), Spotswood 4-12 (Williams 1-3, Dofflemyer 3-5, Dodson 0-2). Fouled Out—Brunswick (Bennett). Rebounds—Brunswick 44 (Bennett 15), Spotswood 37 (Dodson 15). Assists—Brunswick 6 (Eshelman 4), Spotswood 16 (Dodson, Williams 5). Total Fouls—Brunswick 22, Spotswood 16.