Using a swarming pressure defense and an opportunistic fast-break offense, No. 7 Dobson defeated No.10 Pinnacle 62-35 in the second round of the Division I girls state basketball tournament at Dobson.
Dobson will face No. 2 Highland in the quarterfinals on Monday at Wells Fargo Arena, with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.
"If we can turn people over and get it in transition, that's when we are at our best," Mustangs coach Tyler Dumas said. "We knew this wasn't going to be about x's and o's. It was about effort and we were relentless."
Mustangs' point-forward Katherine Hamilton was the primary nuisance.
She was one of the many defenders to help corral Pinnacle star point guard Sydney Wiese between the three point and half-court lines; she pounced into constricted passing lanes created by an extended zone pressure; she hoarded failed possessions, tallying 16 rebounds and several steals.
"I had a bet with coach that I can average nine rebounds a game," Hamilton said. "I was averaging 8.3. Tonight helped."
Hamilton converted the Pioneers' squandered plays into easy conversions on offense. She scored 21 points, many of them against a retreating defense. She was a also a focal point of the Mustangs' half-court zone offense, either finding open shooters from the elbow, hitting mid-range jump shots or using her short-range quickness and long arms to score down low.
"She came in with a big purpose today," Dumas said.
Hamilton cited improved energy for both the Mustangs dominant performance and as the key to advancing in the state tournament. She wasn't the only one who had it in spades.
Guards Miyah Leith, Dyesha Stahley and Tori Lloyd as well as post player Hailey Wendt, using a combination of zone and pressure defense, kept Pinnacle from entering the space below the free-throw line on more than a few isolated occasions in the half-court.
"Credit to Dobson," Pioneers coach Jackie Clayton said. "That's a really good team."
Stahley added 10 points, Leith nine, and Lloyd eight. The Pioneers kept the game competitive much of the fir st half, even mounting a comeback in the second quarter that had them trailing by just four points at halftime.
Wiese scored 21 of the team's 35 points, many of them coming after beating multiple defenders.
"My girls fought hard tonight and fought hard all year," Clayton said.
"That's all I can ask."