Physical Chandler Hamilton girls basketball pushes into section final

Physical Chandler Hamilton girls basketball pushes into section final

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Physical Chandler Hamilton girls basketball pushes into section final

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There’s a number that sticks in Mesa Dobson coach Tyler Dumas’ craw more than the 12 points his team trailed Chandler Hamilton at halftime of its Division I, Section II semifinal Thursday at Gilbert Mesquite High School.

What Dumas focuses on is the 17 first-half fouls that gifted Hamilton points and hamstrung Dobson en route to Hamilton’s 74-66 win.

“It was a bad matchup for us,” Dumas said.

Hamilton (25-4) will face Gilbert Highland in the sectional championship at 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Mesquite.

Dumas wanted to do two things against Hamilton, and neither happened. First, he wanted to get looks close to the basket out of Dobson’s offense, not on one-on-one drives. Instead, the ball stuck.

On defense, he wanted to make Hamilton’s dribble-drive wizards Kyndall Adams (19 points) and Aaliyah Dickson (13) rush to the basket instead of fight through double teams. Hamilton finishes better with contact than without it, he said.

“We wanted them to go fast, but we didn’t want to rotate over and foul,” Dumas said. “And we rotated over and fouled.”

Dobson (21-6) committed 28 fouls in the game, which led to 33 Hamilton free throws. Hamilton sank 26.

Still, Dobson forced its way back into the game early in the first half. Tori Lloyd scored seven of Dobson’s first nine points to cut the lead to 38-35, forcing Hamilton coach Jeff Kain to call a time out with 4:28 left in the third quarter.

Hamilton closed the quarter on a 17-5 run.

“I think we kind of took them for granted,” Adams said. “We got up early, so we were a little confident, and we kind of stopped playing defense, and we had to kick it back into gear a little bit.”

That run began with Hamilton scoring off offensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions, and that rebounding monster reared its ugly head again as Dobson tried to desperately get back in the game in the final minutes.

The basketball coach’s two-minute playbook was going perfectly to script. Hamilton turned the ball over and went 1-of-2 on a trip to the line while Dobson got three quick scores to cut the lead from 68-56 to 69-62 with 50.3 seconds left.

Dickson was fouled to stop the clock, but missed both free throws. But Hamilton’s Ashlee Moore grabbed the rebound, and Hamilton earned another trip to the line, where it sank both to effectively end the threat.

Lloyd led Dobson with 18 points, and Dyesha Stahley and Miyah Leith each added 13. For Hamilton, Alexa Hogberg had 16, Shelby Hartman had 13 and Moore had 10.

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