Canyon del Oro's Alicia Vallejos looks for an open teammate in the Dorados' state tournament opener. Vallejos scored 17 points Wednesday as CDO advanced to the second round.


In a game with 13 lead changes and nine ties, Canyon del Oro defeated Laveen Fairfax 47-40 in the first round of the Division II girls state basketball tournament Wednesday night.

The No. 13 Dorados moved to 21-11 on the season and will travel to face No. 4 Phoenix Thunderbird Friday at 7 p.m.

The first half at CDO was a defensive battle, with neither team's offense able to get into a rhythm. At then end of the first quarter, the game was tied at seven. Eight minutes later, both teams headed into halftime with 18 points.

Coming out of the half, the 13th-ranked Dorados used rebounding, ball movement and defensive pressure to keep pace with the No. 20 Stampede.

"We were able to keep them off the boards, that was key to our game plan," Dorados coach Kent Senzee said. "We did a half-court press in the second half. When we press that means we get easier looks at the basket and we started moving the ball better in the second half."

Heading into the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 33.

Junior forward Alicia Vallejos scored seven of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to propel the Dorados to the second round.

"I think everyone stepped it up. The intensity was there and the chemistry helped us win," Vallejos said.

• Phoenix Arcadia 47, Sabino 36: At Arcadia, Sabino senior Katelyn Houston scored a game-high 18 points, 13 of which came in the second half, but the Sabercats couldn't recover from a bumpy second quarter.

"We had a tough second quarter," Sabino coach Al Addleman said. "We played them even for three quarters."

• Phoenix South Mountain 54, Pusch Ridge Christian 41: At South Mountain, the Lions pulled within six points after being down as many as 16 before the balanced attack of the Jaguars proved to be too much.

Pusch Ridge's Gabrielle Courtney led all scorers with 19 points.

Division III girls

• Buckeye 48, Benson 27: At Buckeye, seniors Alissa Montijo and Haley Choate impressed Benson coach Kimberly East on defense but the Bobcats lost in the first round.

Division III boys

• Rio Rico 60, Safford 56: At Rio Rico, Issac Ayala scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, including 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, to push the Hawks past the Bulldogs.

"He's only 6-foot, 1-inch but he's tough under the basket," Hawks coach Layne Peugh said. "He'll go up against anyone."

Chuck Constantino

Contact reporter Chuck Constantino at or 954-0859. On Twitter: @CConstan3 or @azprepstar