Mesquite’s own Desert Dogs completed a sweep of last year’s champions, the Yakima Sunkings Thursday night at the Rising Star Arena. The Desert Dogs won 112-105, overcoming a huge height advantage. The Desert Dogs were led by the smallest player on the court, point guard Jonathon Lloyd with 25 points and forward Tyrone Criswell’s 20 points. The Dogs jumped off to a quick start leading 38-31 after one period of play and 70-57 at the break. Lloyd and Don Muepo led the charge with 18 and 12 points respectively. The second half was a different story as the Desert Dogs could not regain their touch as the Sunkings went on a 10-2 run. The Yakima squad controlled the offensive boards as they used their height advantage forcing Mesquite to foul. The Sunkings sank 35-42 free throws during the game to the Dogs 18-25. The Sunkings closed the margin to 88-82 after three periods. The Dogs came out firing in the fourth period, guard Zack Cassita hit two straight three balls followed by a three from Lloyd pushing the Desert Dogs lead to 101-85. The Sunkings would not go away as they cut the Dogs lead to 110-105 with 1:18 remaining in the game. The Sunkings three point shots continued to clunk off the basket giving the Dogs the victory. The Dogs shot over 51% from the field to the Sunkings 27%. Most importantly the Sunkings hit only 4 of 30 three point attempts. The Desert Dogs will travel to Yakima on January 18-19 before returning to Mesquite for a four game home stand. The Dogs host San Diego on the 24th, Raleigh on the 26th, Jamestown on the 27th and repeat game with San Diego on January 30. San Diego features two 7’1” players on their roster.
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