Tall Swan wants to take Tigers to heights - The Explorer: Sports

Tall Swan wants to take Tigers to heights

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Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:20 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

A lot of people are expecting huge things out of Marana’s 6-4 junior basketball star, Jamee Swan.

Last Tuesday, Swan delivered 12 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers (4-0) defeat visiting Palo Verde, 52-45.

The game attracted a lot of attention, largely because of the head-to-head matchup featuring Swan and Palo Verde’s 6-1 junior Darian Saunders.

As a sophomore, Swan averaged more than 21 points and 15 boards a game. Saunders averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds, so this contest figured to be a good barometer for Swan.

“It’ll get us ready if we make it to state,” Swan said. “It’ll be more challenging.”

Saunders came out on fire with six points, leading the Titans to a 12-11 lead. Then Marana’s defense clamped down, holding Saunders, who eventually fouled out, to four points the rest of the way.

“We might’ve been scared, then we said ‘let’s go,’” Swan said.

“We tried to front Saunders more,” said Tigers coach Diane Swan. “We played tougher defense.”

The Tigers led 28-23 at the half.

Caitlin Foust’s third-quarter basket gave the Tigers a 30-23 lead. Then, suddenly, they couldn’t find the basket. The Tigers missed 11 of their 14 shots in the quarter to keep the Titans in it.

“I told them to keep shooting,” said coach Swan. “If they shoot that outside shot, there’s a good chance for an offensive rebound.”

After being fouled behind the arc, Palo Verde’s Angel Holleran made three straight free throws for a 34-34 tie after three. Holleran finished with 14.

Palo Verde continued to play physical ball, but the Tigers were not intimidated.

Marana’s Kelsi Crotts, a senior, made five of her 10 shots from the floor for 12 points.

Swan is hoping to get the Tigers further into the playoffs this year. Last year, Swan had a huge playoff game in a 43-41 loss to heavily-favored Sahuaro, scoring 21 points, pulling in 20 rebounds and carrying the Tigers on her back down the stretch. Swan was the main reason the Tigers earned a playoff spot with a 14-9 record.

Swan’s goals are team-based.

“I want to get better for the team to get further in state,” Swan said. “I think we can. I look for my teammates more. I look at everyone.”

There’s even a buzzword passed around the Marana program this year.

“Our word is ‘unity’ this year,” said Jamee, and that’s echoed by her coach, who’s also her mom.

“We don’t run anything just for Jamee,” coach Swan said. “Jamee’s good at looking for her teammates. She sees the cutters.”

These Tigers are filling voids left by the graduation of second leading scorer Lindsay Honea and vocal leader Jessie Wengert.

“I wasn’t able to be a leader last year,” Swan said. “I need to step in.”

Marana had 23 turnovers against Palo Verde, but Coach Swan wasn’t overly concerned.

“A lot of it is trying to figure out how to pass Jamee the ball. Our point guard got hurt (Amber Mendoza).”

Swan expects the Tigers to sort it out. Crotts may be the #2 scoring threat, while tough defense is expected to come from Mally McGarity, Veronica Meade and Alyssa Ruiz. Swan and Crotts are good rebounders.

“Jamee can play inside and out,” said coach Swan. “It’s one for all and all for one.”

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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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