Wildcats take on Eagles in Thatcher on Tuesday
By Raymundo Frasquillo
Tombstone notched a 14-11 advantage in Wildcat Memorial Gymnasium during the closing 10 minutes of play Jan. 27. However, Morenci went on to post a 51-35 2A East Region victory.
The Wildcats also topped the Willcox Cowgirls, 64-40, in Morenci on Jan. 24 and the Yellow Jackets, 57-36, in Tombstone on Jan. 21, both in region contests.
Morenci (16-8 overall, 9-2 region, 12-3 power ranking, 8.3000 rating) won its sixth of seven home games this season and is 6-2 on the road with the top-ranked Thatcher Eagles (23-2, 10-0, 16-0, 20.5933) looming ahead Tuesday.
The Wildcats succumbed to the Eagles twice this season, 31-22 (Dec. 10) during the Round Valley Invitational and 53-39 (Jan. 6) in Morenci during a region contest. The other region loss was 58-44 (Jan. 17) to the Roughriders in Pima.
Morenci is averaging a 48-40 (1,158-965) score per game or an 8-point margin through 24 games and a 52-35 (574-380) score per region game or a 17-point margin through 11 region games.
The Eagles have a 51-27 (1,285-681) average score per game or a 24-point margin for 24 games and a 56-27 (557-199) average score for a 36-point margin for 11 region games.
Remaining region contests during the final regular season week are No. 12 Pima (10-6 power ranking, 7. 8235 rating) at No. 34 Tombstone (3-12, minus 6.8771) and No. 32 Bisbee (4-10, minus 6.3254) at No. 21 Benson (7-9, 0.4072) Tuesday (Jan. 31); Tombstone at No. 38 Willcox (1-13, minus 10.4037) Wednesday (Feb. 1); Pima at Benson Thursday (Feb. 2) and Willcox at Thatcher Friday (Feb. 3).
Morenci vs. Tombstone
The Wildcats led 18-3 before the visitors scored a second basket, 30-17 at halftime and 40-26 heading into the final period.
Morenci totaled 22 field goals (three 3-pointers) plus 4-8 free throws, while Tombstone had 15 field goals (three 3-pointers) plus 2-5 free throws.
The senior inside tandem of Krystyna Chavarria and Sabyn Martinez produced 22 points (11 apiece), with Chavarria scoring five field goals plus 1-2 free throws and Martinez with four field goals plus 3-4 free throws Junior Ashley Hernandez had 10 points on four field goals (two 2-pointers). Senior Jadye Rivas and sophomore Rhiannon Lang both added six points, senior Aaliyah Manuz five and sophomore Janeene Lang two.
Martinez pulled down 13 rebounds and Chavarria 12; Manuz made 11 assists, and Rivas had 8 steals.
Senior Izzy White led Tombstone with 10 points on five field goals plus 0-2 free throws. Junior Ashton Dotson added nine points, sophomore Heaven Murphy seven, junior Lexi Chavez five and sophomore Brianna Wiley four.
Morenci vs. Willcox
Willcox got within four, 33-29, early in the second half, but no closer. The Wildcats led by seven, 36-29, by the time the Cowgirls scored another basket.
The home girls turned in a 20-12 third period outing, with six different scoring contributors, to take a 13-point, 46-33, advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play. Four Wildcats, Hernandez, Manuz, Martinez and Rivas, notched four points apiece while two others, Chavarria and Rhiannon Lang, each had two.
Hernandez paced the Wildcats’ scorers with 20 points on six field goals (four 3-pointers) plus 4-6 free throws, Martinez 12 on four field goals plus 4-6 free throws and both Manuz and Rivas had 10. Manuz made four field goals plus 2-2 free throws, and Rivas had five field goals. Chavarria added eight points, and both Janeene and Rhiannon Lang had two apiece.
Martinez and Chavarria both collected 10 rebounds, and Manuz had 7. Manuz made 9 assists; and Hernandez had five steals and Rivas four.
Willcox got 11 points from junior Danielle Barba on four field goals (one 3-pointer) plus 2-6 free throws and 10 from junior Maddie Michaels on five field goals. Four juniors added the remaining 19 points, Wren Klump (8), Jennifer Abril (5), Rebecca Archuleta (4) and Kristi Webster (2).
Morenci at Tombstone
The Wildcats pulled away from a 5-point, 12-7, opening period advantage to take a 9-point, 25-16, halftime margin. Morenci extended the margin to double figures in the third period as Hernandez netted nine points, Manuz eight and Rivas two for a 22-point, 44-22, advantage at the start of the final period.
Morenci finished with 23 field goals (six 3-pointers) plus 5-10 free throws compared to 16 field goals plus 4-10 free throws for Tombstone.
Martinez totaled 13 rebounds and scored a game-high 19 points on seven field goals plus 5-6 free throws, Hernandez had 17 on six field goals (five 3-pointers), and Rivas had 11 on five field goals (one 3-pointer). Rhianna Lang and Manuz both added four points and Chavarria two.
Chavarria tallied 11 rebounds, Manuz six and Rivas four. Manuz made 12 assists, and Rivas had 12 steals.
White paced Tombstone with 23 points on 10 field goals plus 3-7 free throws. Murphy contributed four points, sophomore Laisha Kirchoff three and sophomore Arista Bohnas, Chavez and Dotson had two apiece.