As the South Mountain Jaguars gained momentum and Ironwood Ridge’s leading scorer Brooke Seavitt was on the bench having fouled out, where were the Nighthawks going to get offense down the stretch in their first-round playoff game?
After consecutive turnovers had trimmed their lead from 42-35 to 42-40, the Nighthawks needed some help. That’s when Paige Moffett, a non-starter, buried a field goal for a 44-40 lead with a minute to go. The result was a 47-44 win, the Nighthawks’ 13th consecutive win.
Moffett also made a free throw down the stretch and scored all five of her points in the fourth period.
“She’s a gamer,” said Nighthawks coach Don Dickinson. “I have a lot of confidence in her.”
The Jaguars kept plugging away, however. Shuntrell Hayes made a basket and added two free throws to tie the score at 44 with only nine seconds left.
Hayes led all scorers with 21 points, while Leslie Tademy scored 14 on 6-12 shooting for the Jaguars.
The game appeared to be heading to an overtime, then South Mountain committed a foul and Moffett sank a free throw. Then, Mya Perrow-Donovan drew a foul and sank two free throws to clinch it.
“Normally when one person is out,” Perrow-Donovan said, “someone else steps up.”
The senior Perrow-Donovan stepped up big and provided a powerful post presence as she finished with 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the floor, and also yanked down 11 rebounds. Angelica Miller led the Nighthawks with 14 points; she made three treys and was 5-12 from the outside.
Defense was a big factor for the Nighthawks as the offense struggled early, missing three of their first 10 shots. They held the Jaguars to two of 13, shooting in the second quarter while building a 23-14 halftime lead.
“Our defense was really good in the beginning,” Perrow-Donovan said.
In the fourth, the defense stiffened again, and held South Mountain to a mere three of 14 from the floor.
South Mountain made their push in the third quarter, as they ripped off a 16-4 run. They were hitting the offensive boards and grabbed a 32-27 lead.
Then, Miller struck with a basket. Perrow-Donovan followed with a basket, was fouled, and buried the free throw to help the Nighthawks tie it 32-32 with 30 seconds left in the third.
“Having a week off hurt us,” said Dickinson. “I expect us to be sharper.”
Unfortunately for the Nighthawks, their season ended three days later. Despite another home playoff game and the return of Seavitt for a full game, the Nighthawks fell to Avondale Westview, 61-49. Seavitt scored 20 points in her final high school game to lead all scorers. Perrow-Donovan ended her career with 12 points, including 10 in the first when Ridge built a 21-13 lead. The girls finished at 24-6.
On the boys’ side, the Nighthawks had a tough first-round loss to the Horizon Huskies of Scottsdale, 69-68. Tyler D’Amore scored 21 points to lead the Nighthawks in the loss, while Alec Sonderman added 18 points. The Nighthawks finished the year at 17-11.
The Mountain View girls basketball team hosted a first-round playoff game, but lost to Scottsdale Chaparral, 66-57. The Nighthawks finished at 15-12.