Tigers overcome obstacles, take 23-4 Sahuaro to limits - The Explorer: Sports

Tigers overcome obstacles, take 23-4 Sahuaro to limits

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Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:16 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Sahuaro may have come in as the unquestioned favorites — a #7 seed, a home-court advantage, a glitzy 23-4 record before last week's state match-up with #10 Marana.

The Tigers forced the Cougars to sweat out the finish before Sahuaro won, 43-41.

Though they trailed for almost the entire game, the Tigers delayed the ultimate outcome into the final seconds by mounting a furious second-half rally.

The Tigers' Jamee Swan put the ball in off the backboard with 23 seconds left to tie it at 41-41. Sahuaro's Cashala Thompson drove to the basket for two with about 10 seconds left. After the inbounds pass, Thompson forced a turnover and the Cougars escaped with the win.

"We couldn't get the last timeout," said Marana co-coach Lisa McBride. "I wasn't loud enough." 

Ironically, the Tigers (14-9) had also battled the Cougars to a two-point difference on Feb. 5 in Marana, handing Sahuaro one of only four losses on the year, 47-45.

The Cougars appeared to be in control of the game, using a 14-0 run to lead 27-18 into halftime. Additionally, Sahuaro held Swan, who averaged 21.5 points and 15 rebounds during the year, to three in the first half.

"They were double-teaming me," Swan said.

The second half belonged to Swan. The 6-3 sophomore carried the Tigers on her back and scored 18 of her 21 points after the break.

"I told Jamee not to worry about the crowd," McBride said. "Just post up."

The turnaround began when Swan was knocked down in the midst of burying a shot from the outside. After making the free throw, the deficit was trimmed to 29-21. Just when it appeared the Cougars would reassert themselves after a three-pointer by Thompson, Olivia Brown buried a trey to make it 32-24.

The Tigers went on a 12-3 run, as Swan scored six straight to make it 34-30 after three stanzas.

Swan scored and was fouled with 4:05 left in the game. Her three-point play made it 38-37. Then, with 2:24 remaining, a Swan bucket tied it at 39-39.

Sahuaro's Thompson buried a shot to give the lead back to the Cougars 41-39, and set the stage for the final minute's drama.

Thompson led the Cougars with 16 points. Rachel Holmes added 11 and had several assists.

Coming within seconds of overtime was an impressive feat for a Tiger squad that battled more than its share of adversity all year.

"Our coach quit two days before practice," Swan said. "This is amazing for how bad our season started."

Senior Lindsay Honea appeared to be the perfect complement to Swan, averaging nearly 20 points a game through the first three games, but she's been unable to play since December because of injury.

The Tigers soldiered on with Swan and their four senior starters, Olivia Brown, Mary Innabi, Jessie Wengert and Brianna Gruenwald.

"I'm proud of our team," Swan said. "That's the best game we've had this year."

McBride was happy with the playoff berth, and the competitive play against a very good Sahuaro team.

"It was awesome for us to get this far," McBride said. "I couldn't be prouder."

 

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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)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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