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Girls Div. II State FINal: Scottsdale Saguaro 49, Flowing Wells 38: Caballeros' winning streak, season end in Glendale
Andrew Cockrum Arizona Daily Star
Sunday, February 24, 2013 12:00 am

Flowing Wells' Shalise Fernander, left, makes an imposing obstacle for Saguaro's Jelani Huma in Saturday's state final in Glendale. - RON MEDVESCEK/ ARIZONA DAILY STAR

GLENDALE - There were 11 lead changes in the first three quarters of Saturday's Division II state championship game between Flowing Wells and Scottsdale Saguaro.

There would not be another.

Saguaro's Casey Rarrick hit a go-ahead three-pointer from the corner with less than 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter, and the Sabercats went on a fourth-quarter run to defeat the Caballeros 49-38.

Flowing Wells (29-4) had won 15 straight games heading into Saturday's final.

"They made their run and knocked down some big shots," Flowing Wells coach Michael Perkins said. "They had some really good shooters out there today."

The Sabercats shot just under 50 percent from behind the arc at Jobing.com Arena, with Rarrick leading the way with four three-pointers. The junior guard scored a team-high 15 points.

Saguaro's offensive explosion marked the first time in 12 games that the Caballeros allowed more than 40 points.

Saguaro's defensive pressure on Flowing Wells also was key to their 14-6 run. The Caballeros were held scoreless for the first four minutes of the game until Lyndsay Leikem hit a floater with 3:23 left in the quarter.

"We got a little mixed up on defense, and Saguaro went on a run and we couldn't quite get back up," said Leikem, Flowing Wells' Indiana-bound senior.

"It was hard to play against them. They played great defense and they went out and won that game."

The guard finished with a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. She also converted on two shots from behind the arc, both coming at the start of the second quarter to put the Caballeros ahead 17-15. Senior Tatyana Portela followed with a jumper to give Flowing Wells a four-point advantage, its biggest lead of the game, with five minutes left in the second quarter.

"We were able to make some buckets and get to the rim a bunch," Perkins said.

Saguaro responded by switching to a box-and-one defense, limiting Flowing Wells to only one bucket for the rest half. The Sabercats used a full-court press to force 24 Flowing Wells turnovers.

"They came and pressured us a little bit. We handled it better at times than others, but it definitely slowed us getting into our sets," Perkins said.

"To be in that last game and extend it all the way to the end is fantastic. I'm certainly proud of my kids."

On StarNet: Go to azstarnet.com/gallery for more game photos

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