What a difference a year makes for professional basketball in Mesquite. Our Desert Dogs recently completed their second year as members of ‘The Basketball League’ on a high note. The Dogs ended the season with a 21-11 record and made the playoffs. Under new management plus some organizational changes, the team competed and entertained at a high level for their local fans. Travel seemed tedious for the Dawgs as most of their losses came on the road but at home they wowed the home crowd with their brand of basketball, fast breaks, intense defensive pressure and the ever exciting dunk. Head coach Carlnel Wiley Jr TBL’s Coach of the Year said,” The players played hard all season and I could not be prouder. Despite losing in the playoffs, it was an extremely successful year for all of us. Our goal was to build an organization that was active in the community from players to staff that would make the City of Mesquite proud. Despite some bumps in the road, some which were beyond our control, I feel we came pretty close to accomplishing that.”
Mesquite fans got a good chance to get up close to all the players after each home game. Meet and greet was a good way to thank the fans who were loyal to the Dogs. Jonathon Loyd especially was pleasing with his 100 % commitment to the run and gun style of the Dogs. He was rewarded for his play when he was given a contract midseason by a Canadian basketball team. He returned, after his season ended up north, to lead the Dogs in the playoffs. League Newcomer of the Year, Tyrone Criswell was a welcome addition with his 21 points per game average and outstanding rebounding.
The change of venue this season made a huge difference for the fans. Assistant General Manager Kelley Doyle said,” The high school gym is absolutely beautiful and the facilities allowed the game to flow a little bit smoother. Our players loved helping in the community, whenever I asked for help at a local event, we had most of the team volunteer.”
When asked, if the team would return in 2020, both Wiley and Doyle responded emphatically, “yes that is our intention. We have some things to improve on including building a larger fan base and developing more team sponsorships. We are already planning next year and hope to make it work with our ultimate goal of giving Mesquite the most competitive team it can making the City of Mesquite proud of their accomplishments.” Based on this writer’s observation of the work effort provided by Doyle and Wiley, they are on the road to success in making us basketball junkies happy.