The aggressive press from the No. 3-seeded Cienega girls basketball team eventually wore down No. 19 Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, helping the Bobcats run away to a 57-33 win in the second round of the Division II state tournament on Friday night.
“I think we are peaking at the right time and executing the game plan well,” Cienega coach Paul Reed said.
The Bobcats led by five at halftime and then outscored the Saints 21-4 in the third quarter thanks to an aggressive press that enabled Cienega to “get out offensively” for some easy looks, Reed said.
Junior forward Treyanna Clay had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats and senior guard Gabby Banales had 12 points and made 9 of 10 free throws.
Cienega has just one loss on the season, a 41-39 defeat at Sahuaro on a last-second shot. Since then, the Bobcats have won all eight games by at least 22 points, including a rematch with Sahuaro in the section tournament and against Notre Dame Prep, the team that knocked the Cougars out of the playoffs.
Cienega will go for win No. 25 when it faces sixth-seeded Yuma Cibola in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Glendale’s Jobing.com Arena.
No. 10 Scottsdale Saguaro 70, No. 7 Flowing Wells, 47: At Flowing Wells, the Sabercats handed the Caballeros their worst home loss this season. Saguaro led 35-22 at halftime and never relinquished the lead. Flowing Wells senior Shalise Fernander scored 21 points in her final game as a Caballero and point guard Kyra Brinsfield was the only other Cab to finish in double digits (12). After starting the season 2-6, Flowing Wells finished 20-10.
Division III boys
No. 4 Benson 63, No. 20 Thatcher 39: At Amphitheater, the Bobcats jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Senior forward Sean Brogan scored a game-high 18 points. Benson out-rebounded Thatcher 40-22 to defeat Eagles for the second time this month. The Bobcats ride a six-game winning streak into a quarterfinal with No. 5 Show Low on Wednesday at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
No. 3 Yuma Catholic 58, No. 14 Bisbee 54: At Copper Canyon, the Pumas made a late charge against Yuma Catholic but fell short in the end. Before the loss, Bisbee had won 10 of its past 12.
Division IV boys
No. 13 Tombstone 65, No. 20 Gilbert Classical Academy 35: At Bradshaw Mountain, the Yellow Jackets continued their hot stretch, recording their fourth 30-plus point win in the past six games. Tombstone will play No. 4 Desert Christian today in Prescott for the fourth time this season.
Division IV girls
No. 10 Desert Christian 46, No. 23 Kearny Ray 44: At Prescott High, the Eagles outscored Kearny Ray 18-11 in the fourth quarter for the comeback victory. Sophomore center Hanna Bjorgum led Desert Christian with 13 points, and junior forward Allison McNally added 12. Desert Christian will play No. 7 St. David today at Yavapai Community College. The Eagles have lost by an average of 30.5 points in their two meetings with St. David this season.
No. 18 Patagonia 52, No. 15 Immaculate Heart 35: At Yavapai Community College, the Knights fell to Patagonia for the second time this season, ending their year with back-to-back losses after winning their previous five games. The other loss came at the hands of No. 2 St. Gregory, which will face Patagonia today at Prescott Valley’s Bradshaw Mountain.
No. 16 San Manuel 45, No. 17 Tombstone 42: At Bradshaw Mountain, the Miners jumped out to a 23-10 halftime lead and managed to hang on thanks to their dominance on the glass. San Manuel junior Kadi Monfred had 15 points. The Miners face No. 1 Elfrida Valley Union today at Bradshaw Mountain.