Mesa High senior forward Aaron Fuller had Michigan assistant coach John Mahoney in town Wednesday to watch the Jackrabbits’ pregame before they journeyed to Mesa Dobson for their East Valley Region game with the Mustangs.
The preliminary visit was good enough that Michigan head coach John Beilein will take a look-see next week.
Fuller offered another worthy performance Wednesday night, scoring 33 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 71-59 Mesa triumph over Dobson.
Mesa (12-7, 3-0) used a hot-shooting first half (56 percent) from the field to build a 39-30 lead. Fuller was a big part of that, hitting 7 of his 12 field-goal attempts. For the night, he finished 12 of 19. The Jackrabbits have now won five games in a row.
“Aaron had a nice game,” Mesa coach Shane Burcar said. “I think people are realizing he can play.”
Fuller tallied 28 of his points in the first three periods as Mesa took a 54-43 lead into the final period.
The Jackrabbits’ biggest lead, 15 points (54-39), did melt in the final quarter to 58-55 with 3 1/2 minutes to play. Dobson’s Melvin Douglas IV, Taylor Johnson and reserve Zach Schmidt keyed the run that pulled the Mustangs within striking distance.
With Dobson (11-9, 2-2) knocking on the door in an attempt to tie or take the lead, Mesa guard Ryan Salcedo supplied the offensive impetus to ward off the Mustangs.
Salcedo, about the only Jackrabbit who didn’t have a hot hand in the game, had connected on just 2 of his 9 shots from the field early in the final period. A pair of shots from outside — one a 3-pointer — and a layup pushed the margin to 65-55 with 2:18 left. Salcedo capped a good fourth quarter by feeding Beau Gardner for a layup in transition with 1:20 left to seal the outcome.
Salcedo finished with 15 points, and Donte Medder added 12. Medder experienced foul trouble for the second time this week. He missed most of the third quarter Monday against Pinnacle; Wednesday he fouled out with 4:37 to play in the game.
“Ryan had a tough game up until the last quarter,” Burcar said, noting seven turnovers. “But he stepped up when we needed it. If we take better care of the ball, though, we don’t get in that situation.”
Dobson was led by Douglas IV and sophomore guard Jarrett Green with 10 points each. Green exited the game a couple of minutes into the third period after aggravating a knee injury. He made three 3-pointers in the first half to help Dobson stay close.