Maas scores 17 in Lions’ victory - The Explorer: Sports

Maas scores 17 in Lions’ victory

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Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 4:00 am

Playing four quarters is a mantra that will be very important to Pusch Ridge and coach Lonnie Tvrdy this year.

Fortunately, on Friday, they only needed to play about three good ones to defeat Rio Rico, 55-28.

The Lions struggled through the first quarter against Rico Rico, as they led 14-12, but the lead could’ve been a lot bigger without 13 early turnovers.

“You have one bad quarter against top competition (and bigger schools),” Tvrdy said. “You don’t win.”

Thanks to realignment, and their bump up into Division II play, the Lions have tougher opponents and bigger schools ahead like Canyon del Oro, Mountain View, Marana, and Ironwood Ridge.

“We played so hurried and frenzied (in the first),” Tvrdy said.

In the second, everything changed as the Lions started with a 16-0 run.

Tvrdy pointed out that the team started dribbling less, and the Lions started holding onto the ball, as they had no giveaways in the second.

The defense didn’t hurt either, as the Lions held the Hawks without a point until the final seven seconds of the second in building a 32-14 halftime lead.

A ball-hawking, smothering defense kept the Hawks from ever establishing their offense. The Lions forced 43 turnovers, 26 of those came in the first half.

Brittany Haro, of Rio Rico, who has a couple of 20-point games, was held to just eight points by the Lions. In the second half, she barely got to touch the ball. She only scored two points after the first period.

“If we are to make the playoffs and advance in the playoffs, or regionals, it will have to be because of our defense,” Tvrdy said. “We were doing a zone press,” Tvrdy said. “It was really good in the second quarter.”

Abby Maas led the Lions with 17 points, and was 7-10 from the field. Noelle Soltero provided the inside force with 12 points, including 6 of 7 from the free-throw line.

Olivia Christian came off the bench and scored eight points, going 3 for 4 from the floor for the Lions.

“We focus on defense this year,” Soltero said. “We strive for excellence.”

Part of the defensive effort was aided by Gabrielle Courtney, who had three steals in the first quarter, making life tough all night for Hawks dribblers.

“We had a hard time focusing in the first,” Soltero said. “After that, it was totally better.”

The Lions have played competitively this year, despite their jump in competition. Earlier in the year, they defeated Ironwood Ridge, 35-25.

“It’s so much more intense,” Soltero said. “We just want to be competitive.”

Tvrdy understands that the bar has been raised and the expectations are higher now.

“We have good quarters and bad quarters. We want to be excellent,” Tvrdy said. “The question at this point is can we stay focused?”

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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