Desert Dog Tyrone Criswell (#2) hits for two points in a recent game against Tampa Bay. The former University of Nevada player has been moved from his shooting forward position to a guard spot. Photo by Lou Martin

The Mesquite Desert Dogs hopes for a playoff- birth took a big hit this past week, as they fell at San Diego and Yakima. The Dogs lost at San Diego 121-113 on March 24 and 109-86, 113-107 at Yakima this past weekend. The losses dropped the Dogs into third place in league standings, with a 15-10 record, one game ahead of the Raleigh Firebirds. The Dogs are 11-2 at home but sport only a 4-8 record on the road with 7 games remaining in the season. The Dogs host the San Diego Wave on April 4 before traveling to New York on a make or break road trip for three games. The Dogs host the first place Yakima Sun Kings on April 18-19 before closing at San Diego on April 21. The Dogs need to go 4-3 in their remaining games to have any chance of making the league playoffs. The loss of point guard Jonathon Loyd midway through the season has made a dramatic change in the Desert Dogs offense. In addition, the Dogs cut top rebounder 6’8” power forward Don Muepo, who had a 20+ per game scoring average for unknown reasons. Only time will tell if the Dogs can right their ship.