Mesa Dobson boys basketball coach Rick McConnell insisted that his players just barely escaped with a 66-62 victory over Phoenix North Thursday night at Dobson Gymnasium.
“We started the game too anxious, we committed too many turnovers in crucial situations, and most importantly we let Bejarano score too many points,” he said. “He’s an amazing player.”
That would be Daniel Bejarano, who finished with a game-high 28 points for North.
“But fortunately for us, he was also pretty much their entire offense,” said McConnell, with a smile.
North took an early lead after Robert Arvizu hit a 3-pointer with 6:54 left in the first period. It would be the only lead of the night for North. Dobson led 15-11 after the first period.
North scored the first four points to open the second quarter, including a 3-pointer from Bejarano, to make it 15-14 with 5:37 left in the period. But then Dobson was able to capitalize on a slew of defensive miscues, scoring the next eight points, including six of Melvin Douglas’ 18 points, to take a 35-31 lead into halftime.
With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Ian Wallace hit a 3-pointer to give Dobson a 64-59 lead. Bejarano then hit a 3 to make it 64-62 with 1:17 left. But North could not get any closer after that.