FLAGSTAFF - It was all Martin Ort in Fountain Hills’ 3A state tournament first-round game against Tuba City Wednesday at Northern Arizona’s Walkup Skydome.
The Falcons prevailed 58-49 as Ort tallied 40 points and was 13-for-15 from the free throw line. His effort came on the heels of his school-record 46-point game Saturday.
The game remained tight through the third quarter, with the Warriors clinging to a 38-37 lead.
Ort and the Falcons came out roaring in the fourth quarter, outscoring Tuba City 21-11. Ort had 17 in the quarter, scoring on fadeaway jumpers and pushing through traffic for layups.
“Martin Ort really took over in the fourth quarter,” Falcons coach Cain Jagodzinski said. “He has been a fouryear starter and was the MVP of the state championships last year.”
Ort also made 5 of 6 crucial free throws in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors struggled when their big center, Christopher Edaakie, fouled out with 3 minutes, 21 seconds remaining and Fountain Hills leading 49-40.
Falcons guard Dan Thomas fouled out just two minutes later, but the Warriors’ morale was further deflated when Jeremy Begay picked up his fifth foul with just 40 seconds left.
Tuba City tried to come back on three Kevin O’Conner free throws when he was fouled behind the arc by Pat Keating with 32 seconds left, but it was too little too late. The Warriors pulled to within eight points, but they had to foul the Falcons to stop the clock.
Thomas, who hit 5 of 6 free throws, scored 11 points for Fountain Hills.
For Tuba City, O’Conner had a great performance with 25 points and was 4-for-5 from the charity stripe, as did Edaakie, who had seven points and was a dominating presence near the basket.