Mesa Red Mountain boosted its psyche for next week’s 5A state girls basketball tournament by avenging its only two Arizona losses.
The Mountain Lions won the East Valley Region tournament championship game, beating top-ranked Mesa Mountain View 61-32.
The Mountain Lions bolted to a 21-7 first quarter lead and buried the hosts. Red Mountain (22-6), which dropped two games in January to Mountain View, exacted revenge without a big scoring night from standout Kayla Pedersen. Instead, the Mountain Lions used balanced scoring and a hot start from senior guard Amanda Bartlett to turn back Mountain View.
Bartlett scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the first period as Red Mountain never trailed. Pedersen added 11 points as did teammate McKenzie Crum. Bonnie Barbee finished with 10 and Jacie Bendure Birt chipped in with eight. Pedersen did pull down 12 rebounds, but was only 2-for-10 from the field.
Red Mountain also dulled Mountain View by shutting down the Toros top scorer and region most valuable player Brooke Jackson, who finished with a season-low three points and was just 1-of-8 shooting from the field. Freshman Jennifer Schlott led Mountain View with seven points.
In the third-place game, Dobson rallied from a 14-11 deficit after the first half to top Skyline, 39-24.
Cassie Keating scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Xavier to its first 5A Desert Valley Region championship in school history, defeating visiting St. Mary’s 50-34. Sam Murphy added 15 points and eight steals for the Gators, who dominated the glass, holding a 44-30 rebounding advantage. “We are a good defensive team,” coach Jennifer Gillom said, “that’s how we have been winning all year.”
Horizon defeated visiting Desert Mountain 51-49, overcoming a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to take third place in the Desert Valley Region tournament. Chrissy Bertrand and Katy Pendleton each sank a pair of crucial free throws down the stretch for the Huskies. Kelsey Hintz led Horizon with 16 points.
Desert Vista defeated visiting Corona del Sol, 71-42 to capture the 5A Central Region tournament championship. The Thunder pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Aztecs 37-13. ... J.J. Jackson made several free throws down the stretch to help host Hamilton defeat Gilbert 64-62 to win the 5A Fiesta Region championship. Mark Celaya paced the Huskies with 14 points and nine rebounds. Fiesta Region Player of the Year Maurice Jackson netted 24 for the Tigers in a losing effort. ...
Alex Rudd scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead Mesquite to a 68-65 home victory over Chandler to place third in the 5A Fiesta Region tournament. Rudd went 11 of 12 from the line in the fourth for the Wildcats. Eladio Rubio scored a gamehigh 31 points for the Wolves.