January 4, 2011 8:00:00 AM
CRAWFORD -- Randy Brooks hopes a career-high is only the start of bigger and better things for Quanisha Doss.
In what he called the first "dominant" efforts of the season, Doss scored a career-best 41 points in a 69-46 victory against McAdams in the East Oktibbeha County High School Tournament on Dec. 30.
Doss has led the Lady Titans in scoring in a few games this season, but Brooks wants to see more consistent performances from his sophomore guard.
"Her potential is endless," Brooks said. "I am trying to get her to become more dedicated to basketball. If she becomes more dedicated she can be a special player."
For her accomplishment, Doss is The Dispatch''s Prep Player of the Week.
"I didn''t know I had that many (points)," Doss said. "I was shooting nothing but layups, and I thought I had 20-something. When I sat down, they told me I had 39, so when I went back in I scored two more to give me 41."
Doss started most of the season last year as a freshman. Brooks said she has improved her free-throw shooting and her defense. He said Doss needs to improve her ballhandling and her outside shooting.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore guard said her previous best scoring output was a 30-plus point effort in a junior high game. Since then, Doss has matured into a player who has learned to do more than shoot the ball.
"I like to shoot the ball, but I like to play defense a little now," Doss said.
Doss started playing basketball in third grade. She has rotated between point guard and two guard in her career. Her willingness to play defense turned out to be a key part of her career-high scoring night. It also will be a key ingredient to helping East Oktibbeha (10-8) realize its potential to earn a trip to play in Jackson, the site of the state basketball championships.
Doss said she is ready to accept that challenge in part because she has a new mind-set. She said she wants to improve her attitude and not to keep her composure.
"I ain''t scared no more," Doss said. "I used to be nervous, but I am not nervous anymore. I am making my layups better."
Several missed layups could have inched Doss closer to April Sykes, one of the school''s all-time leading scorers. Sykes was a member of the East Oktibbeha County girls basketball team in 2005-06 that was the runner-up in Class 1A. The team won the state title the next season.
Doss hopes to remain consistent so she will be able to help lead the Lady Titans to similar heights this season.
"I take pride in that I scored that many points, and I am going to try to do it again," Doss said. "I want to have my picture on the wall like them. We have to keep playing like we''re playing. We have to play good defense, take good shots, and take care of the basketball."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.