Pusch Ridge seasons end with state losses - The Explorer: Sports

Pusch Ridge seasons end with state losses

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Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:15 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

They didn't have their full team until well into December. First-year coach Dennis O'Reilly was coming over from rival Desert Christian. A team with eight seniors was being asked to embark on a new way of playing basketball.

In spite of all these factors, the Pusch Ridge boys basketball team went unbeaten in league play, finished 21-8, earned a #7 seed in the 2A playoffs, and won its first-round playoff game.

The Lions were eliminated in the second round on Saturday by Precision, 72-58.

"We're sad to see it's over," O'Reilly said. "They had a tremendous point guard who broke us down and hit a lot of threes. Another kid hit some great shots."

The Panthers were also the defending 2A champions, although they had lost several players from last year's squad. This year's version still had Brandon Ehlinger who averaged 22 points a game, while Jaques Patton averaged another 20 points a game.

In the loss, Trever Cook led the Lions with 22 points, while Tyler Kaveloh had 10 points.

"I think that Cook, Kaveloh and Greg Schimke have played together since the fourth grade," O'Reilly said.

After Precision made a buzzer shot, the Lions trailed by eight at the half. Precision made 14 of 29 from the field, almost 50 percent in the first half, while the Lions shot 10-24 for 42 percent.

Once the Lions fell behind, they were unable to get within striking range. Pusch Ridge shot 33 percent in the second half.

Friday, the Lions opened the playoffs with a 50-34 win over Camp Verde.

They built an 18-8 lead, and Schimke nailed a three-pointer from the corner.

"We moved the ball well," O'Reilly said. "Our defense was designed to keep it one and done."

A three-pointer by Trever Cook at the buzzer gave Pusch Ridge a seven-point lead at halftime.

Scoring was well balanced. Jeremy Courtney had 11 points. Cook and Kaveloh scored 10 each, while Schimke added nine.

O'Reilly said coming to Pusch Ridge was a good fit.

"They embraced me and I embraced them," he said. "We didn't have summertime together, or a pre-season. To their credit, they were willing to accept a new system from a new coach."

The Lions never lost two games in a row.

"Give them credit," O'Reilly said. "They're great character guys."

The Pusch Ridge girls team was squeezed out in Friday's 2A action by St. John's, 33-31.

Cheyenne Link, the team's lone senior, went out in style with 18 points and was 8-13 on the foul line.

"If you're going out," said girls coach Lonnie Tvrdy, "Cheyenne was tremendous. It was hard to see her lose this. She could be very proud of her effort.

"We had the ball with a minute left (in the game)," Tvrdy said. "They got a layup." A three-point attempt by the Lions fell short at the buzzer. "We weren't cutting off the basket (defensively)," Tvrdy said. "Free throw shooting's been a problem this season." In the playoff loss, Pusch Ridge made 15 of 30.

Going into the season with a very young team, Tvrdy thought he'd have a .500 team.

The Lions finished the season at 22-7 and earned a #7 seed in the 2A playoffs.

"It's a good group of kids."

In other local action, the Canyon Del Oro boys and girls teams both lost their first-round games. The CDO boys (11-13) lost to El Mirage, 65-59, although Josh Lewis had 29 points for the Dorados. The CDO girls (14-14) lost to Glendale Raymond Kellis, 76-46.

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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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