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A heart of a Lion

Dorothia Santos displays toughness for Minnewaukan-Leeds

December 24, 2009
Matt Mullally

Minnewaukan-Leeds sophomore standout Dorothia Santos grew up just a block from a recreation center and spent nearly every day playing basketball there - and often against boys much older than her.

"It taught me to be tough and made me a stronger player,' Santos said. "I didn't get any special treatment."

Those early lessons on the court have prepared Santos to be an impact player in high school basketball. She's coming off a breakout year for the Lions' program and is one of the top returning players in District 8.

"She's a talented player, but I think her toughness is what really stands out,' said M-L coach Travis Risovi.

An illustration of that toughness occurred earlier this month when a blood blister developed between two of her toes during a game.

"It busted open during the game, but I wasn't going to stop playing,' Santos said.

Following the game, Santos took a trip to the emergency room to receive antibiotics and get a shot. After being off her feet for a day or two, she was back practicing.

Indeed, she's one of those players who come along every so often in a program.

She averaged 14 points in her freshman season, and there is no sophomore slump for Dorothia. She's right at that scoring mark so far this season.

"Most of her points come off fast breaks or turnovers,' Risovi said. "And that makes it hard for teams to try and defend her."

Santos credits her teammates for finding her in the open court following a missed shot by the defense.

"Once I see we got the rebound I just take off down court and they get the ball to me,' Santos said.

Dorothia not only finds the basket with regularity, but the point guard also quarterbacks the Lions' offense in the half-court set.

"She does most of the ball handling for us and is a good passer,' Risovi said. "When she's on the court we are a different team."

Santos is also one of her team's top defenders, creating turnovers in the backcourt. Indeed, she's an all-around player and her game continues to improve.

"She's getting better and that's a testament to her willingness to keep working on her game,' Risovi said.



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