#3 Mesa traveled across town to #6 Dobson Friday night, and it truly seemed
an opportunity for a slip. Mesa was playing their third game in four days and
their second against a highly ranked school. They faced probably the biggest
team in the state in Dobson, and as Mesa warmed up the legs just didn't seem to
But any doubts were quashed on the very first possession. After Lee Cummard won the tip for the Jackrabbits he leisurely moved to the right wing, got a back pick and Travis LeBaron lofted the ball toward the glass. Cummard rose, caught, and stuffed for an alley oop that set the tone for Mesa's 53-38 win
An 11-3 run to open the game seemed to put this one to bed early, but Josh Roth came off the bench and scored six straight points to keep Dobson in it through the first quarter. The end of the first frame saw Mesa leading 14-13 but the momentum had seemed to swing back into the home team's favor.
Not for long.
Roth scored the first four Dobson points in the 2nd period, but unfortunately that was all of the Dobson scoring in the first six minutes of the frame. By half time Mesa led 32-19 and the rout was on.
The Dobson front court of Kris Taylor and Drew Thurston were stymied all night as Mesa came in with a game plan that boiled down to one word.
Thurston had all of three touches in the first half as the Mesa frontcourt of Cummard, Michael Crowell and Matt Komenda blanketed him down low, and junior point guard Matt McConnell never got it going, scoring only two points in the first three quarters.
After the game Mesa's Head Coach Shawn Lynch was smiling as he walked off the floor. "I was a little worried because we had three games in four days, but the kids responded and played well."
Not just any three games mind you. After Mesa knocked off #1 Highland Tuesday night, they doubled up Cibola 81-40 Thursday before coming to Dobson Friday. The two wins over Top 10 teams puts Mesa in a position to possibly jump over #2 Mesa Mountain View despite the Toros winning both their games this week. After winning two games against teams featuring great frontcourt play Mesa draws the Bittl/Quaintance backcourt tandem of Mountain Ridge on Tuesday, and then the likely #1 vs. #2 showdown against Mesa Mountain View on Friday.
For Dobson the loss temporarily dashes the momentum they had built up over the break after winning the Governor's Cup at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic in California. But after four winnable games Dobson will get their chance at revenge and more when they play Mesa and then Mesa Mountain View in late January. The Mustangs may have ceded their claim on #1 for now, but will certainly have a say in who enters February on top.