The St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.)
nationally ranked girls basketball team had a scare Saturday afternoon at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
Rather than panic, they just turned up the heat.
According to aia365.com staff writer Les Willsey
, St. Mary's forced 17 second-half to turn a six-point halftime deficit into a third straight Division I Arizona state title with a 49-37 win over Pinnacle (Phoenix)
Following a 14-0 run by Pinnacle to end the first half, St. Mary's ran off 14 straight of its own while winning its 60th straight game against an Arizona opponent and seventh title overall.
Pinnacle (33-3) lost its sixth title game in last seven years.
St. Mary's, No. 7 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings, finished 29-1.
"I tried to outsmart myself," St. Mary's coach Curtis Ekmark told reporters. "We were playing passive and trying not to give up threes..... We had to go out and play the way we play. Pressure. If we went down that way, fine. But that's the way we've played all year. That's what won it for us."
, the coaches' daughter, led the way with 14 points and six steals. Chantel Osahor
had nine points and 10 rebounds and Dominique Williams
and Danielle Williams
combined for 15 pints and 10 steals. Britta Nordstrom
led Pinnacle with 12 points and Kenna McDavis
chipped in with 11.
Remarkably, five St. Mary's girls have signed letters of intents: Osahor (Washington), Dominique Williams (UCLA), Danielle Williams (Michigan), Chloe Johnson
(San Diego State) and Brandee Walton
(New Mexico State). Courtney Ekmark is only a junior.
"It's just a great experience" said Dominique Williams, who won three titles in four years. "It took a lot of hard work, and we lost the first one but came back stronger because we lost. I wish we could have won all four, but you can't always be perfect."See AIA365 story Division II
Saguaro (Scottsdale) 49, Flowing Wells (Tucson) 38See Jason Skoda's storyDivision III
Winslow 45, Valley (Sanders, Ariz.) 40
A year after letting a championship slip away, the top seed wasn't going let it happen again, using a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter and 17 points and 21 rebounds from super sophomore Shandiin Armao to win going away.
“After losing to Page (in the state championship game) last year we
made a commitment that we were going to work harder than our opponents
this year, and that’s what these kids did,” Winslow coach Jerron Jordan
said. “We made some plays and didn’t panic when they (Valley) took the
“They played with their hearts,” Valley coach Julia Six said about her
team. “They played. They really wanted it. I’m proud. I’m proud of what
Winslow outscored Valley 30-14 in the paint and outrebounded its
The victory for No. 1 seed Winslow (27-5) gave its third-year coach his
first state title at a program accustomed to playing for titles. This was Winslow's ninth state crown.
See AIA365 storyBOYS
Corona del Sol (Tempe) 63, Pinnacle 59Bryan Siefker
had 19 points and Casey Benson
12 points, eight rebounds and six assists as Corona (30-5) won its second straight title.
The Aztecs overcame a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes to complete its remarkable state-tournament run. They won their four games by a total of 14 points. They also broke Pinnacle's 16-game win streak. Adam Gleave
and Cassius Peat
added 12 each for the winners. Dorian Pickens
led Pinnacle (26-8) with 24 points, but 18 came in the first quarter, which led to a 10-point lead.
"We told them at halftime they had to grind it out and believe," Corona del Sol coach Sam Duane Jr. said. "I've said it before. These guys just find a way." See AIA365 storyDivision II
Paradise Valley (Phoenix) 45, Salpointe Catholic (Tucson) 39
Fresno State-signee Paul Watson
had 20 points, seven rebounds and five steals leading the fourth seeded Trojans (26-7) to victory. He scored 13 in the second half. Teammate Ryan Finley
had 13 points. Cameron Denson
led Salpoint with 18 points, four rebounds and four steals.See AIA365 storyDivision III
Gilbert Christian (Gilbert) 60, Valley Christian (Chandler) 48Dylan Bliss
drilled three three-pointers in the first quarter leading to a 15-6 edge and Gilbert Christian (31-3) cruised from there to win its second straight title.
It was the fourth straight win for Gilbert Christian over Valley Christian, thanks large to the shooting of Bliss and Roberto Reyes
(17 points). Bliss is the only senior on his team's roster.
Valley Christian (23-10) got 14 points from TJ Widner
“We played well,” Gilbert Christian coach Jerome Joseph said. “We have guys who are talented, can make
shots and share the ball, and when you get 12 guys on the same page,
that’s tough to deal with. That’s what they did. They shared the ball.
No selfishness. No ego. No pride.” See AIA365 story