5A girls basketball state championship outlooks - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

5A girls basketball state championship outlooks

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Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 7:50 pm | Updated: 4:00 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Class 5A girls basketball state championships


No. 1 Tolleson vs. No. 3 Pinnacle

When: 12:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Jobing.com Arena

TV: Fox Sports Arizona

How they got here: Tolleson def. No.16 Deer Valley, No. 8 Barry Goldwater and No. 5 Westview; Pinnacle def. No. 14 Perry, No. 6 Chaparral and No. 10 Horizon.

Outlook: Pinnacle has been chomping at the bit for this game. Tolleson has won two consecutive 5A-II championships and beaten the Pioneers each time in the championship game. Tolleson has won five consecutive against Pinnacle dating back to the 2007-2008 season, but this could be Pinnacle’s best chance. Senior forward Aley Rohde (14.1 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) and sophomore guard Sydney Wiese (17 points per game) are well-complemented by Kenna McDavis and Britta Nordstrom. Wiese was unstoppable against Horizon in the semifinal with 34 points, including eight free throws in the fourth quarter. Rohde and Syerra Davis (14 points, 7.5 rebounds) will tangle again inside, and Desiree Smith is a scrappy, shifty point guard for Tolleson, which is guard-oriented this year. Can Pinnacle get over the psychological hurdle with Tolleson?


No. 1 St. Mary’s vs. No. 2 Chandler

When: 5:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Jobing.com Arena

TV: Fox Sports Arizona

How they got here: St. Mary’s defeated No. 16 Red Mountain, No. 8 Alhambra and No. 5 Xavier; Chandler defeated No. 15 Mountain Ridge, No. 7 Buena and No. 4 Mountain View.

Last meeting: St. Mary’s 63, Chandler 41 (Jan. 4).

Outlook: Make sure you do neck and shoulder stretches to exercise those muscles before watching this game, because you could get whiplash trying to watch these two schools go back and forth. Chandler’s loss to the Knights in early January spurred an 11-game winning streak that was snapped in odd fashion against Mountain View at the end of the regular season. St. Mary’s has cruised through this tournament, including a 29-point win against a good Xavier team in the semifinals. The Knights are deadly shooters and go 8 and 9-deep. The Wolves have a solid backcourt with Dezirae Elias and Simone Westbrook, but the frontcourt duo of Je Zhe Newton and Raven Anderson (combined 25 points and 26 rebounds vs. Mountain View) gives most teams fits inside. Turnovers and shooting will tell this game’s tale, because Chandler struggled outside against Mountain View (1 of 11) while St. Mary’s had little trouble with the Jobing.com Arena environment that often gives teams trouble in adjusting from high school gyms.

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]