Second-seeded Basha dominated No. 10 Desert Ridge on Saturday night to win its quarterfinal playoff game 68-40 at home.
Despite the score, this win did not come easy for the Bears as the Jaguars put up a hard fight.
Desert Ridge (14-15) pressured Basha for most of the game, keeping a man-to-man defense during almost every quarter. This just wasn’t enough for the Jaguars.
“I thought our kids played hard, they just didn’t play tough enough,” Desert Ridge coach Greg Ream said.
Even with their tough defense, the Jaguars lost the edge when the Bears went on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter.
Senior shooting guard Terrell Brown was the shining star of the Bears offense, putting up 26 points, but Brown thinks that his success should be credited to his team.
“The team got me the ball a lot in great situations, and I just knocked it down,” Brown said.
Basha coach Mike Grothaus echoed Brown's praise.
“Terrell Brown was great; Gabe McGlothan was good as well,” he said. “I thought Brennan Davis got in early foul trouble, but I thought he was able to bounce back. I thought he did a really good job defensively on Jason Harris.”
Basha held freshman Jason Harris to only five points for the entire game, even though he averaged at least 12.5 per game in the regular season.
Ream recognized Basha’s high level of play, applauding the defense.
“I’m going to tip my hat to them; they played really well,” he said. “They got out on a lot of our stuff, so there were some little things we could have done better.”
Now that the Bears are advancing to the next round, Grothaus said they have to keep playing their game.
“We just have to continue doing what we’re doing: defend every rebound and play as a team,” he said. “Let the rest of the chips fall where they may.”
The Bears (28-1) will face No. 3 Desert Vista (19-5) Thursday at Gila River Arena on Thursday at 6 p.m.
– Gooden is a sports journalism student at Arizona State.