January 29, 2005
Chandler High is making it tough for Mesquite to win the 5A Fiesta Region title this season and at the same time enhancing its chances of dethroning Highland as region champs.
The Wolves pulled away early in the fourth quarter Friday night and went on to beat the visiting and fifth-ranked Wildcats for the second time this season, 53-42, at Coy C. Payne Gymnasium.
‘‘All year we’ve been a transition team, and we’ve been working on the halfcourt game because you have to be able to do both,’’ Chandler coach Zon Thompson said. ‘‘We showed we can be patient. I think teams are starting to realize we can shoot from outside.’’
Sophomore Ashlee Brown led Chandler (16-6, 5-1) with 16 points, 11 of those coming in the second half. Paege Knox added 14 points and Lauren Hall chipped in 10. The pair combined to make five 3-pointers for the night. Knox hit two of her three 3-pointers in the final period to keep Mesquite (22-5, 4-2) from threatening in the final period. Chandler and Highland are tied for the region lead with Mesquite a game back with four games left to play the next two weeks.
Mesquite shot miserably, particularly from outside, which is usually a strong suit. The Wildcats made 16-of-64 field-goal attempts (25 percent). They connected on one 3-pointer the entire game — a first-quarter shot by Andie Mason. Mason, however, may have suffered her worst shooting night ever. She made 1-of-15 attempts from the floor. Her game total of five points (all in the first period) was 10 below her average. In two games against Chandler, Mason has scored a total of 14 points.
‘‘Chandler plays great defense, and plays with intensity. You have to give them credit. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen us shoot as bad as we did tonight,’’ Mesquite coach Candice Gonzales said.
Andrea Videbeck led Mesquite with 14 points. In the 50-45 loss to the Wolves on Jan. 11, Videbeck finished with two.
‘‘We’ve done a good job against their two best scorers,’’ Thompson said of limiting Mason and Videbeck. ‘‘We’re in good position, but we won’t take any team for granted.’’