SHS Sizzles In 2nd Half
Williams Plays Key Role
Posted: March 6, 2013
RICHMOND — On Monday afternoon, coach Chris Dodson said his Spotswood High School girls’ basketball team was “banking” that Bailey Williams wouldn’t let it lose.
On Tuesday, the Trailblazers’ Division I-bound point guard didn’t.
Williams, with her sharp and often fancy passing, keyed a second-half surge — filling her stat line in the process — as SHS rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit for a 70-57 win over Monticello in the Division 3 state semifinals at the Siegel Center.
“She’s tough,” Monticello coach Josh McElheny said. “We tried to put different people on her all night long and wear her down; she’s just a kid that doesn’t quit. She definitely gets them up and down the court in transition. She’s a fantastic player.”
Spotswood (28-1), making its third state tournament appearance in four seasons, will play Brunswick for the state championship Saturday at 11 a.m., also at the Siegel Center. The Blazers last played for a state title in 2010, losing 68-44 to Freedom (South Riding). That was Williams’ freshman year, and she made sure Tuesday that SHS would get another championship shot.
The 5-foot-7 senior scored a team-best 20 points, shooting 8-of-11 from the floor, and hit the basket — a 3-pointer with 5:37 left in the third quarter — that gave SHS the lead for good after a slow first half for the Blazers.
“I yelled at her at halftime a little bit,” Dodson said. “... I said, ‘[The first half is] over. Is this how you’re going to be remembered? Is this how you’re going to be remembered? I don’t think so.’ And she said, ‘Heck no, it ain’t.’ So she went out there with a purpose, and we jumped on her back for a while.”
Williams added 11 assists, eight rebounds, five steals and a block to her stat line.
The Blazers out-scored Monticello 43-23 in a second half that started with a 14-0 SHS run.
“It was kind of motivational, just because I’ve been here before,” Williams said of Dodson’s halftime pep talk. “I know how it felt to be cut short ... so I just knew that feeling, and I didn’t want to feel that again.”
After intermission, the Blazers made — no kidding — 85.7 percent (18 of 21) of their field-goal attempts to shoot 57.1 percent (28-of-49) for the game. (It is unclear where SHS’s second-half shooting percentage ranks in state tournament history; the Virginia High School League does not keep that record.) Spotswood also dominated Monticello in transition, scoring 31 points off the Mustangs’ 26 turnovers — 14 coming on fast breaks.
Junior forward Tayler Dodson added 15 points and seven rebounds for Spotswood, scoring her 1,000th-career point on a free throw in the second half. She is just the second junior in SHS girls’ basketball history to score 1,000 points. Williams was the first.
Dodson said her father, Chris Dodson, didn’t tell her how close she was.
“I’ve known I was close for a few games, but he wouldn’t tell me what game he was expecting me to get it,” Tayler Dodson said. “I asked him the other day. I was like, ‘Hey, Dad, am I close?’ And he told me he wasn’t going to tell me.”
Junior guard Rachel Lindsay had 13 points, and sophomore guard Elizabeth Dofflemyer had 11, scoring two straight baskets early in the second half to help tie the game at 34-34. From there, the Blazers picked up momentum, thanks to their press, before pulling away in the fourth quarter and leading by as many as 13.
“I think we just, in practice, we always see each other and we just know where each other are going to be,” Dofflemyer said.
Molly Shephard, a 5-10 sophomore forward, led Region II champion Monticello (24-3) with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting. She also had nine rebounds and four steals and scored 20 of her points in the first half, helping the Mustangs — who were making their first-ever state tournament appearance — get out to an 11-2 lead.
“Just wanted to show them that we weren’t afraid of them,” McElheny said. “A team that’s [28-1] now, there’s not been too many people that have been able to play with them all year long. We wanted to show them early that we made the trip to play.”
Hall 1-6 0-0 3, Shephard 12-17 4-5 28, Comer 3-9 0-0 7, Holleran 4-13 3-4 11, Larrabee 1-3 0-0 2, Coleman 0-0 0-0 0, Payne 1-2 1-1 3, Scott 0-3 1-2 1, Roberts 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-55 9-12 57.
Williams 8-11 3-4 20, Lindsay 5-8 1-2 13, Dofflemyer 5-9 0-0 11, Dodson 5-10 5-12 15, Probst 3-5 0-0 6, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Lam 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 28-49 9-18 70.
Monticello 15 19 12 11 — 57
Spotswood 14 13 26 17 — 70
3-Point Goals—Monticello 2-10 (Hall 1-3, Comer 1-6, Larrabee 0-1), Spotswood 5-12 (Williams 1-3, Lindsay 2-3, Dofflemyer 1-4, Lam 1-2). Fouled Out—none. Rebounds—Monticello 33 (Shephard 9), Spotswood 25 (Williams 8). Assists—Monticello 13 (Comer 6), Spotswood 21 (Williams 11). Total Fouls—Monticello 18, Spotswood 13.