Not A Blowout, But…
…Williams, Trailblazers Remain Unbeaten
Posted: January 5, 2013
BROADWAY – Frustrated and facing early foul trouble against Broadway High School’s stingy defense, Spotswood point guard Bailey Williams tried to collect herself on one of her several trips to the bench.
But she delivered when it mattered most – not that it surprised Tayler Dodson, who fouled out with 19 points as Spotswood clung to a 53-51 lead with 31 seconds left.
“At the end, I knew Bailey had her free throws,” Dodson said. “We’re partners together in practice. Our goal is to make 10 in a row every time.”
Williams finished with 19 points and made all seven of her free-throw attempts, including four critical ones in the final 20 seconds, to lift the unbeaten Trailblazers to a hard-fought 57-54 victory over Broadway on Friday night in an early battle for first place in the Valley District.
“Broadway always plays good here,” Dodson said. “They make you do things you don’t normally do. They make you turn it over and, like, throw crazy passes you aren’t used to doing.”
Broadway’s effort was somewhat of a surprise to Williams.
“I didn’t really expect it as much because they graduated a few of their really good players,” she said. “But I knew it was going to be a good game because they were 9-1 and undefeated in the district. But I didn’t think it would be that close.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Dofflemyer’s transition layup gave the Blazers (11-0 overall, 3-0 in the Valley) an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter that nearly melted away. His team slow to react on defense on the ensuing possession, SHS coach Chris Dodson threw his suit jacket to the floor before watching an easy layup by Broadway forward Brianna Zook.
The play initiated an 8-0 run for the Gobblers (9-2, 3-1) led by substitute Vanessa Morgan. Shortly after, freshman point guard Kierstin Roadcap – who had been frustrating Spotswood’s veterans with her aggressive play all night – dribbled around defenders and converted a clutch 3-point play, bringing BHS within 55-54 with nine seconds remaining.
After two Williams free throws, Morgan had a fairly good look at a 3-pointer that clanged off the rim and into the welcoming hands of Dofflemyer, who had seven points, six rebounds and forced several turnovers on defense.
Senior forward Heather Cantrell – who fouled out with six points late – thought Broadway was destined for overtime.
“It looked like it was going in,” said Cantrell, calling Friday “the most intense game we’ve played.” We were all saying that. We thought it was in, but it came up short. It was a good shot to take.”
It was a familiar environment that the Blazers were apparently ready for.
“We may have won this one with our schedule,” said Coach Dodson, whose team was coming off a close game at Miller School in Charlottesville. “Saturday’s game really prepared us for a game like this. We were under some pretty tough conditions over there with a hostile crowd and hostile environment, so we just went through this a couple days ago. We were lucky to have one of these games, whereas [Broadway] probably hadn’t.”
The final buzzer certainly brought a sense of relief for Spotswood.
“We needed these kinds of games, because we were getting used to blowing people out,” Williams said. “We were playing timid but just because we were used to beating people by a lot. We needed it as kind of a wake up call to play harder.”