Posted Date: 11/20/2019
by Rich Hilliard
Fannin County Leader
Senior Cassidy Herron (5) drives just inside the 3-point arc and heads toward the basket on Nov. 19 during Dodd City's 2019-20 season opener. Herron led the Lady Hornets with 18 points. Photo by Rich Hilliard
Wed, Nov 20, 2019
DODD CITY -- Despite three-straight trips to the Class 1A girls basketball state championship game, Dodd City's Lady Hornets will not have a San Antonio-or-bust mindset during the 2019-20 season.
"We don't look at it like that," said seventh-year Dodd City head girls basketball coach Alex Stephenson on Nov. 19, after the Lady Hornets' 79-30 season-opening win over 3A Bells.
"We want to get better each day," said Stephenson. "We don't talk about State."
As they take that measured approach, the Lady Hornets welcome back a roster full of players familiar with the state championship limelight -- and who have the individual awards received in 2019 from the most recent trip to show for it.
Senior Delaney Pilliod and junior Journie Hilliard return, after placing on the 2019 UIL 1A basketball state all-tournament team, as selected by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
Hilliard had 14 rebounds and five points, Pilliod had 12 points via four 3-pointers and each made two steals in the championship game, but six-time defending-champion Nazareth defeated Dodd City, 54-33. Hilliard also scored a game-high 22 points with 11 rebounds and Pilliod garnered six points, six rebounds and four assists during a 52-33 defeat of Moulton in the state semifinals.
Additionally, senior Cassidy Herron and Pilliod and junior Dani Baccus and Hilliard garnered spots on the 2019 TGCA 1A all-state basketball team.
Baccus and Hilliard also made the 1A girls all-state team of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches in 2019 and joined Pilliod and Herron on the TABC Region III-1A girls squad.
Dodd City also returns others who played in the most recent championship game: sophomores Kylee Graves, Ali Preas and Tori Dotson and junior Braylee Cowan.
Meanwhile, freshman Rion Baccus made her Lady Hornets' varsity debut on Nov. 19 with 15 points.
"I like this team," said Stephenson. "We have a lot of returning players who have played on the big stage multiple times.
"I like where we are," he said. "In a program like this, players step up: Next man up."