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Class of their own

Comanche seniors climb 100-win mountain, become bright beacon for Southwest Oklahoma basketball

COMANCHE - Beckoning her mother with a Duncan Simmons Center flyer, a young Misty Dossey was eager to see her basketball career take flight.

Like any noble parent  not wanting to force their child into a hobby  Deborah told her daughter, "If you want to play, you're going to have to pay for it."

So Misty saved up her allowance for a long time and eventually showed up with the $60 for registration.

"She never pushed me to be a basketball player. That's one of the things my mom was always impressed about," the now 6-5 senior center and Texas-Arlington commit Misty Dossey said. "People think, 'Oh she's tall so she was forced to play basketball.'"

Clearly, that wasn't the case.

Years later, Dossey  who was one of three McDonald's All-American nominees in Oklahoma this season  has progressed into one of state's best players and most prized recruits while helping transform Comanche into a traditional powerhouse.

"Her whole career Misty has carried the light for Comanche  and in a lot of cases Southwest Oklahoma," Comanche girls coach Sean Hushbeck said. "It says a lot about the basketball we play here."

Anchored by Dossey, Comanche's senior class wound up with 100 career wins on the dot. The Lady Indians eclipsed the century mark  something few high school teams ever achieve  in the Class 3A State quarterfinals earlier this month with an impressive 52-33 rout of previously unbeaten Hartshorne.

Comanche's season ended a day later in the state semifinals at the hands of eventual champion Sequoyah-Tahlequah, which placed a deep burden on the girls despite all of their historic accomplishments together.

"This whole season is what we had prepared for," Comanche senior point guard Jordyn Morris said. "We've always taken that   extra step so this year we thought, 'OK, winning a state championship is the next step. We can do this.' Our town and our team all really believed. So to come up short was really rough on us."

Not only did the elite group boast 100-15 record, the Lady Indians won four straight Stephens County championships, made three straight state tournament appearances  including three semifinal appearances and a state runner-up finish with a silver ball and 27-1 record in 2017  all while making endless memories in between.

"It's been tough, but I really think we have come to terms with it," Morris said. "Looking back at all these amazing things we accomplished togetherÖ it's like how can you be disappointed with that career?"

The legacy that Dossey, Morris and their fellow seniors  Carlyn Gay, Bryton Doucet and Tracy Stevens  leave behind will be remembered for years in the Comanche community while also having set the bar high for future Lady Indian squads.

Building a traditional powerhouse

After their first game together freshman year, the Lady Indians finally realized their potential.

"We thought, 'Hey, we're actually good,'" Dossey said.

It's a group Comanche knew it had coming, one Hushbeck had watched grow and mature since fourth grade together.

"If we were going to make a run at state titles, that would be the group," Hushbeck said.

Coachable, hard-working senior groups in years past set the tone. Now this senior class has passed the torch.

"Our younger girls almost push themselves because they want to be playing in the Big House," Hushbeck said. "Younger kids ask what we are doing this summer. They saw what we these girls accomplished and it drives them."

All the way down  from the incoming freshman class to the junior high and Comanche's fifth grade bunch, which Hushbeck's daughter Jillian is on  there is plenty of potential.

The seniors had only eight losses the past three years. Freshman year is when seven of the 15 losses accrued, but the girls made the Area consolation finals.

Sophomore year, the seniors lost to Oklahoma State star Jaden Hobbs and eventual champion Alva, which won three of four state titles. Junior and senior year it was Sequoyah, meaning Comanche never lost to anybody in the state tournament except the state champion.

Outside of Fort Cobb's four-peat, no team in Southwest Oklahoma has been a brighter beacon of an elite basketball program.

Comanche is now side by side with other Oklahoma powerhouses.

"That's why you see the Adair's, the Sequoyah Tahlequah's, the Fort Gibson's  those teams that are there year after year," Hushbeck said. "Their young kids are striving to be there."

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