5A girls state championship previews - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

5A girls state championship previews

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Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 2:08 pm | Updated: 3:33 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A look ahead at Wednesday's 5A-I and 5A-II girls basketball championship games

5A-II girls basketball championship game

No. 7 Pinnacle (23-10) vs. No. 1 Tolleson (27-5)

When: 2 p.m. Wednesday

Where: At Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe

Outlook: Judging by a prior meeting between the teams at Wells Fargo in the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic, Pinnacle faces a huge challenge. Tolleson prevailed that day, 80-50.

However, Pinnacle has rediscovered team basketball so don't anticipate Tolleson shooting 50 percent or more from the field, especially from 3-point range as it did that afternoon.

Pinnacle has had at least four players score in double figures in each of its three state tournament victories. Leading the way is junior post Aley Rohde 15.8 ppg. Tori Sheaffer, J.J. Alli, Kacie Donovan, Libby Valentine and Sydney Wiese (10.5 ppg) have each scored in double digits at least once in that stretch.

Tolleson, led by senior Rebecca Woodberry (25.3 ppg), remains a solid favorite, but Pinnacle is playing appreciably better than it did Jan. 18 and should be able to make a game of it for awhile.

Last year Tolleson beat Pinnacle in the title game, 59-57. This is the fourth year in a row Pinnacle has played for a girls state title (once in 4A-I in 2007 and the other three in 5A-II). Pinnacle has been runner-up each of the last three years. Tolleson is the defending 5A-II champ and is looking for its third title in four years.

5A-I girls basketball championship game

No. 10 Dobson (28-7) vs. No. 1 St. Mary's (23-5)

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: At Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe

Outlook: The teams did not meet during the season. Dobson likes a fast pace and has scoring punch inside (center Kamerson Knutson, 16.5 ppg, 9rpg) and outside (Andrea Jones 13.3 ppg, 75.apg and Johnelle Hannah 13.7 ppg).

Dobson likely won't press and try to handle St. Mary's dribble-drive motion offense in half-court defensive set. Dobson's ability to handle St. Mary's pressure defense will be the key. The Mustangs handled that well at times against Chandler in the semifinals and at other times were bothered. Consistently handling the Knights' pressure will go a long way in determining how well Dobson does.

St. Mary's can get scoring from several places, generally predicated by its pressure defense. Freshman forward Aliyah Dickson is tough in a half-court set. Sophomore Shilpa Tummala is an outside shooting threat along with senior Katie Barr. The top seven players in coach Curtis Ekmark's rotation are either freshmen or sophomores.

Dobson starts four seniors and a freshman. This is Dobson's third trip to a 5A title game. The Mustangs were runners-up in 1990 and 2001. St. Mary's last won a title in 2006 and was runner-up last year to Highland.

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