Former Kofa hoops star signs to play for AWC
Liz Moreno dazzled hometown fans for three years as a starter on the Kofa girls basketball team. They get another two years to watch her play.
Despite attractive offers from four-year schools, Moreno decided to stay close to home, signing a letter of intent Monday to lend her talent to Arizona Western College.
"I had an offer from a (four-year) school in Michigan, but it was a little too far from home for me," Moreno said. "(AWC) is really close and I have a lot of support here from my family.
"They're a pretty good program too. I watched them play last season. It's going to be different, but I think I'll be up to the challenge of playing at a higher level."
During her senior year, Moreno led the 5A Gila Valley Region in scoring at nearly 18 points per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field as a perimeter player. She also pulled down four rebounds and came away with almost four steals a contest. Moreno set the Kofa single-game scoring record with a 35-point performance on Jan. 11 at Casa Grande, and finished her career as Kofa's third all-time leading scorer.
AWC graduated its starting backcourt, which included leading scorer Kim Etol. Matadors coach Patrick Cunningham said Moreno is well-equipped to step into the rotation and contribute right away.
"Fortunately, Kofa played a lot of man to man, which always helps. She has those concepts down," Cunningham said. "We feel like she can get up and guard people in our league, and we know she can score. We're just hoping she can knock down some perimeter shots. It'll be interesting to see how playing with true post players will help out her perimeter game."
Moreno led Kofa to back-to-back region titles and three straight trips to the 5A Division II state tournament. She capped her prep career with the Gila Valley Region MVP, as voted by the region's coaches, and The Sun/Yuma Rotary Club's Player of the Year honor.
Cunningham said that Moreno's versatility might allow him to play her at any one of three positions along the perimeter.
"I'm just hoping I can bring a lot of speed, hard work and toughness to the team, and help them win games," Moreno said.
Moreno gained a reputation for her hard-nosed toughness and relentless hustle. Cunningham added that was exactly type of player he wanted on his team.
"We're looking for tough kids who play hard, and that's what she does," Cunningham said. "Luckily, she was in our own backyard."
Derrik Miller can be reached at
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