On an opening night when offense was hard to come by, Kristen Dohm of Ironwood Ridge found her shot down the stretch.
Dohm scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, leading visiting Ironwood Ridge to a 37-33 win over Marana last Tuesday.
“I just got hot,” Dohm said. “We had to step up in the fourth.”
The Nighthawks had trailed 31-25, going into the fourth before holding the Tigers to just two points in the period.
“We finally settled down,” said Ironwood Ridge coach Josh Dickinson. “We stepped up our defense in the fourth.”
The Tigers were trying to generate enough offense to win, despite the absence to injury of senior star Jamee Swan.
Swan led the Tigers in scoring each of the last two years, and averaged 19.6 points and 13 rebounds per game in 2010-2011.
“She suffered a moderate sprain in practice,” said Marana coach Diane Swan. “She’s doing the stuff she needs to do.”
Dickinson called a time out with 2:16 left, with the game tied at 33.
Dohm buried a field goal to give the Nighthawks a 35-33 lead.
Paige Moffett and Sarah O’Keefe added free throws for the final tally.
The Nighthawks were also trying to play without their leading scorer from last season, Brooke Seavitt. Seavitt graduated last year, and her 13.5 points per game average will be a challenge to replace this season.
“We have to make up for (Seavitt’s loss),” Dohm said.
O’Keefe and Moffett each scored eight points for Ironwood Ridge.
The Tigers did what they needed to do for three quarters and held the Nighthawks to a mere 25 points going into the fourth.
Junior Shalise Borden showed a good post presence, and also added outside shooting to lead the Tigers with 10 points, two three-pointers, and seven boards.
“Shalise is a beast,” said Jamee Swan. “It will help us out having us both on the floor.”
Ironwood Ridge built an 11-6 lead after one period.
The Tigers battled back with a 5-0 spurt to start the second. They held the Nighthawks scoreless, until a scoop basket by O’Keefe with 3:30 left.
Casey Wortley nailed a buzzer shot for the Nighthawks to tie it at 17 at the half.
Marana went on a 10-2 run in the third quarter, keyed by a trey by Borden to take a 27-19 lead.
“They did a good job of not freaking out without Jamee,” said coach Diane Swan.
A big fourth quarter surge by Ironwood Ridge resulted in a 12-2 period advantage to pull the game out.
Many Nighthawks fans were in attendance at Marana and fueled the fourth quarter hot streak with loud cheering.
“In the fourth, our inexperience came out,” said coach Swan.
Jamee Swan’s return will be much anticipated. Jamee said she’s hoping to be back to practice on Monday, Nov. 28. The Tigers were scheduled to play their next game on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Cienega at 7 p.m. They will travel to Flowing Wells on Thursday, Dec. 1 for a 7 p.m. tilt.
Jamee believes she’ll have good focus for her senior season, since she already committed to Colorado during the off-season.
The Nighthawks were scheduled to play on Tuesday, November 29 at Tucson at 7 p.m. They’ll travel to Pusch Ridge on Friday, Dec. 2 for a 5:30 start time.