Dodson leads Lions past Highland
LONE TREE — It didn’t take long for Lone Tree senior Andy Dodson to get the third-ranked Lions going in Thursday’s game against Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division rival Highland.
Dodson nailed a 3-pointer from the corner just three seconds into the contest, and added a layup a few seconds later to give Lone Tree a 5-0 lead. The Lions never looked back and rolled to a 74-44 win.
“Over the break he shot the ball really well and came out tonight and shot the ball well, too,” Lone Tree head coach Tom Squiers said of Dodson. “He got us going early, and I thought that was the key.”
Lone Tree reserve Riley Stumpf knocked in a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer, and the Lions (10-0, 8-0 SEISC North) led 17-9 after eight minutes of play. Dodson hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the second quarter to extend Lone Tree’s lead to 15 points, but Highland junior Josh Brase hit a 3-pointer and made a free throw to trim the lead to 33-22 at halftime.
Although the Huskies (6-4, 6-4 SEISC North) were within striking distance at the break, the Lions outscored Highland 41-22 in the second half to pull away.
“I thought in the second half we came out with maybe a little bit more intensity,” Squiers said.
Squiers was pleased with the way his team, which shot 44 percent from the field, played in its first game after the holiday break.
“It’s almost like your first game of the season,” he said. “You try to kind of get the kinks worked out. Overall, I was pretty happy with the way we played. It was a good win for us.”
Senior Bryan Forbes scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Lions. He also had 10 rebounds, five steals and two blocks in the contest. Dodson nailed four 3-pointers and matched his season high with 20 points.
“He’s kind of an unsung hero on this team,” Squiers said of Dodson, who entered the game averaging 8.4 points per game. “He’s kind of one of those quiet players who does a lot of the dirty work, you could say. We kind of expect him to shoot the ball that way.”
Senior guard Jake Hootman had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead Highland. Brase and senior Trent Megchelsen added eight points apiece.
Highland head coach Marcus Hall was disappointed with his team’s effort in the rivalry game.
“I feel like our focus wasn’t there,” he said. “We had talked about doing the things that we could control, but we didn’t do that. I didn’t think we were very composed. I didn’t like a lot of what I saw.”
The Huskies have now lost three straight after a 6-1 start. But now they’ll turn their focus toward Tuesday’s home game against IMS.
“It’s a tough loss,” Hall said. “The only thing we can do is take it for what it is, one game of many, and we still have a lot to play for. We’re looking forward to Tuesday against IMS.”