The Dobson Mustang Girls Basketball team has long established themselves as one of the elite in Arizona. A big reason for their success is that each and every year, despite losing a great group of seniors, new underclassman come in and fill the void almost as if some of those great players had not left.
Last year after Katherine Hamilton graduated and went on to USD, Seniors Miyah Leith and Tory Lloyd stepped to both average in double figures for points leading the Mustangs to a 30-3 record and a trip to the state semi-finals where they fell to eventual state champion Desert Vista.
This season now with Leith and Lloyd graduated, a new senior has come in to fill those big shoes. Senior Alexis Todd has gone from averaging about 6.5 points per game as a junior to now leading her 20-1 Dobson team putting up just under 18 per game. An improvement that even she didn’t anticipate before the season.
“No not at all,” Todd said. “I expected the post to actually dominate but it’s flipped the role a little bit.”
“Some of the games it (the scoring from Todd) has been out of necessity,” mentioned Dobson Head Coach Tyler Dumas. “We’ve played in a lot of close games and we’ve needed her to score, and she has come through. She had 42 points in the Boulder Creek game that went into double overtime. I don’t think she realizes sometimes how much she is scoring. She just takes open looks and tries to be aggressive.”
When Todd and Coach Dumas met before the season, they discussed the fact that with her ability to shoot, she could be the player that steps in to be the big scorer on this 2014-15 team. But just because you are put into the role, doesn’t mean the points and stats will just appear on their own. Todd embraced the pressure and worked to take her game to the next level over the summer.
“I decided to step up for my team and work on and off the court harder,” Todd stated. “Go to the gym and just work out more because I needed to fill a spot that they (Leith and Lloyd) left.”
“I think in Alexis’ case, she’s kind of been in waiting,” mentioned Coach Dumas. “But the real truth is that she put in a lot of time in the gym. Her jump shot has dramatically improved. She is the leading three point shooter for us, shooting over 40% from the field for us and she is just taking advantage of the opportunity to get better.
The elevated play of Todd just tells the beginning of the story for the great senior class Dobson puts out on the floor every game. 10 of the 12 Mustangs players are seniors who all know each other well and have chemistry that cannot be taught. It is because of the continuous groups and players like this year after year that Dobson has been able to continue success each season despite graduating great talent every season.
“I think it is mostly about family,” said Dumas. “We’ve been stable and part of the community and we reach out. We get great fan support and have a lot of pride in what we do. The girls have always been trying to look for that next step and lift each other up when the kids come back. It’s just a big family.”