Stonewall’s Dotson scores 1,000th point in loss to Cougars

Stonewall's Nick Dotson prepares to make a pass during a game Dec. 18 against Page County. Dotson scored his 1,000th point Thursday night against Stuarts Draft. Rich Cooley/Daily

QUICKSBURG — It was a pretty simple play, but one that Nick Dotson will remember for a long time.

The Stonewall Jackson senior drove to the basket and made a layup with 5:13 left in the third period on Thursday night against Stuarts Draft and made history. The basket gave Dotson the 1,000th point of his high school basketball career.

“It wasn’t the prettiest play ever,” Dotson said. “But especially in a game like this, if the ball goes through the hoop, that’s all that matters. So I was kind of relieved to get that off my chest.”

Dotson entered the game needing 22 points. He finished the game with 29 points and 12 rebounds in a 97-77 loss to the Cougars.

After he made the basket to reach 1,000 points, the game was halted and Dotson was given the game ball. He went into the stands and gave the ball to his parents.

“It was fun to go up in the stands and hug my family and high-five my friends,” Dotson said. “And to shake the hands of my coaches and with my players, especially my teammates. To see them happy for me was a great feeling.”

Dotson became the fifth boys basketball player in Stonewall Jackson history to reach 1,000 points and the 13th boys and girls players combined.

“Certainly, it’s hard to believe that I’m a part of that — I’ll be included in that group,” Dotson said. “Because a lot of times, especially when you’re a little kid you see that or here about that and you’re like, ‘oh my gosh. That’s crazy those are the dudes who can light it up.’ I’m certainly honored and hopefully I’m not the last.”

Dotson said it was still hard for him to believe he accomplished the feat considering he didn’t play on the varsity squad his freshman year and only had 197 points in his sophomore season.

The 6-foot Dotson said that he had a lot of people who helped him stay motivated to achieve the goal, including his father.

“My dad kept pushing me and he kept encouraging me, especially sophomore year when things were very inconsistent,” Dotson said. “I would have nights where I would go out and I would score a whole bunch of points. And I would have nights where I hardly scored at all. And he just kept motivating me to do better and not always worry about the result, worry about my game and improve myself.”

Dotson is leading the area in scoring, averaging 23.2 points per game. He is also averaging 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.2 steals per game.

Dotson said that his accomplishment would not have happened without help from his teammates.

“I was just lucky enough to play with a great group of teammates just throughout all three years on varsity,” Dotson said. “We’ve all always been able to play as a team. And that’s what’s allowed me to perform at the best of my ability and score.”

Dotson reached the milestone during a 17-0 run by Stonewall Jackson early in the second half. Dotson had 10 points during the run.

He scored 12 points in the first period and four in the second.

Stonewall Jackson coach Jim Sanders said he was very happy to see Dotson reach 1,000 points.

“He’s been great — the kid can play,” Sanders said. “Him and Brendan (Hoover) both have been beyond my expectations. He’s done a great job for us and has been a major player for us all year long.”

Dotson said even though he was happy to reach 1,000 points, he wanted to win the game just as badly.

The Generals (7-12, 3-10 Shenandoah) led by as many as five points in the third period. Stonewall Jackson led 64-63 entering the fourth period, but were outscored 34-13 in the final eight minutes.

Stuarts Draft’s up-tempo style wore down the Generals in the fourth period. Stuarts runs the Grinell System, which involves rotating a different group of players in every couple minutes, a full-court press the entire game and shooting a lot of 3-pointers.

The Cougars (11-6, 10-3 Shenandoah) made 20 3-pointers in the game, but Sanders said he thought it was the 2-pointers that decided the game.

“The deal is you’ve got to make all your twos, if you’re not going to shoot 3’s like they do — and we missed a lot of twos,” Sanders said. “They want to get their twos somewhat in the open floor, off a turnover. They don’t want to get their twos in a half court set. They want to get threes out of the half court set. They want to get twos out of the full-court press. And they got enough twos to win it.”

Stonewall Jackson’s Logen Patton scored 18 points, while Hoover added 11.

Despite the loss, Dotson said he was proud of the way the team competed. Dotson said the Generals have improved this season, and he thinks they have gained some respect.

“I don’t think teams are as excited to play us as they have been in the past,” Dotson said. “I think we’ve sort of changed our reputation now as a team you’re really going to have to come out, compete and play hard against. We’re not a joke anymore and I think everybody else in the district knows that.”