Athlete of the Week: Dodson’s game comes together at right time for Generals
QUICKSBURG — At the end of the season, things finally clicked for Emily Dodson.
The Stonewall Jackson sophomore forward played her best basketball down the final stretch of the season.
One of the biggest things Dodson did was looking to be more of a scorer for her team. It showed in last week’s Conference 44 tournament quarterfinal victory over Highland County as she had a season-high 20 points.
“It is the end of the year, so I figured leave it all on the court,” Dodson said before Monday’s practice. “You have nothing to lose. So I just pretty much did that and every time I had a chance to score I scored. I really don’t want the season to end. The seniors — I really enjoyed having them on my team.”
Dodson, The Northern Virginia Daily’s Athlete of the Week for the week of Feb. 6-12, followed up last week’s performance with a team-high 11 points in the Generals’ season-ending loss to Riverheads on Wednesday in the Conference 44 tournament semifinals.
Stonewall Jackson coach Jeff Burner said that Dodson got better at the end of the season at making the right decisions on the court.
“I have to scream at her all the time about looking to shoot,” Burner said. “She always looks to pass first and in a lot of cases she’s the better option and she just doesn’t do that. She’s been doing a great job of looking for her shot and she’s been much more aggressive. She’s been stronger with the basketball. She’s been making some really strong post moves, which really helps her a lot too.”
In the win over Highland, Dodson scored 15 points in the second and third periods combined. She worked a lot with teammate Sara Streett. The two made a lot of passes to each other and combined for 33 points in the victory.
Dodson averaged 7.2 points per game, second on the team. She also averaged 4.9 rebounds and a team-best 1.8 assists per game.
She also led the team with 19 3-pointers. Dodson said she’s really worked on improving her 3-point shot, which makes it tough for opponents to defend her. Dodson said Burner’s confidence in her shot has helped her as well.
“Even if I miss two or three times he says keep shooting they’ll come, they’ll fall,” Dodson said. “So I keep having confidence in myself and I keep shooting 3-pointers.”
While she enjoys shooting from the outside, Dodson said she likes playing in the post just as much.
“Inside I like going to work, because I like being able to make layups,” Dodson said. “Because I know you can make layups easier than you can make an outside shot if you just work on it.”
Dodson said she’s worked a lot on different post moves in the last year, and has learned a lot from Central senior Tamra Scott.
Dodson said that she played on the Winchester Rising Stars Amateur Athletic Union team with Scott and it was a real learning experience.
“Tamra’s an awesome basketball player,” Dodson said. “I truly look up to her. She’s showed me a lot over the past AAU season and she’s really good.”
Dodson said she learned a lot her freshman season, which helped her to have another solid season this year.
She said the best part about playing at Stonewall Jackson is her teammates.
“I’ve realized that I actually have a team and have a family,” Dodson said. “They are a part of me in everything I do. Most of them play other sports and I managed volleyball with them and they took me in. They’ve helped me a lot. I really love everybody on that team — every single one of them.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org