It very nearly was a bad night Tuesday for the No. 1 seeds in the Division I and Division II girls basketball tournaments.
First, Seton Catholic rallied to tie South Mountain in the waning seconds of regulation and then prevailed in overtime. Don't know if Seton coach Karen Self sent Dobson girls coach Tyler Dumas the tape of her game over at Jobing.com Arena between 6 p.m. and 7:30, but they had eerily similar outcomes and endings.
In some weird way — perhaps taking a cue from Seton Catholic in its D-II quarterfinal triumph — No. 1 D-I seed Dobson managed to rescue its season in the final seconds of regulation and then overtime in beating upset-minded No. 8 Millennium, 68-62, at ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.
Dobson (30-2) gains a rematch of one of its two losses in the the semifinals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo. Dobson faces No. 5 Desert Vista (28-2), which advanced with a 61-45 win over Mountain Pointe. Millennium, which did not start a senior, concluded its season 27-4.
Senior guard Miyah Leith and junior post Monay Mariscal netted 20 points each to lead Dobson. Seventeen of Leith points came after halftime. Senior Tori Lloyd finished with nine, but seven of those came in the final period and overtime. Sophomore guard Raina Perez, arguably the best player on the floor in the game, led three Millennium players in double figures with 20 points, Passionate Amukamara added 16 and Quynne Huggins chipped in 14.
Dobson's come-from-behind victory was slightly more demanding than Seton's. Dobson trailed 37-28 in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the third period when Dumas decided that his team, which plays better up-tempo, upped the tempo. Dumas essentially chastised himself for not going with that plan earlier.
“Sitting back being passive wasn't working,” Dumas said. “We aren't a real good team in the half-court. I figured we may as well go for pressure and at least if we go out, we go out playing the game we're best at.”
Dobson didn't let its deficit reach double figures, but still trailed 55-48 with 2:35 to play. A 3-point basket by Dyesha Stahley, one of only three in the game for the Lady Mustangs, sliced the lead to 55-51. Perez pushed the lead back to 57-51 with 2:00 to go on a short jumper. Forcing a couple turnovers and making aggressive moves to the basket, Dobson managed three straight buckets – a layup for Mariscal and a pair of driving layups by Leith. The last one by Leith came with 12 seconds left and tied things at 57. Perez got off an off-balance shot from 15 feet at the buzzer that was well short bringing on overtime.
As Seton did in its overtime period with senior Julia Barcello, Dobson went to two — four-year starters Leith and Lloyd. Leith and Lloyd stepped up, combining for nine of Dobson's 11 points in the extra period. Dobson scored the first seven points in OT and wasn't threatened after Leith talliedthe first points of OT on what seemed an endless stream of layups for her from the right baseline.