Cibola secured its spot in the Division I Section I tournament on Friday night, topping Kofa 66-53 at home in its regular season finale.
“I think we set ourselves up for a good situation in the sectional tournament,” Cibola coach Justin Hager said. “We'll see what happens.”
Brandi Badilla picked up a double-double for the Raiders (16-3), scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the game.
“It's good, posts are sort of a key to our offense,” Hager said. “You never know who's going to step up every night — different people are going to contribute. She (Badilla) had a good game and every night it can be someone else.”
As a senior, Friday night may have been the last time Badilla set foot on her home court in a basketball jersey. But she was optimistic that her team will perform well in sectionals on Tuesday and she will return to the court once more.
“We're ready to go to sectionals Tuesday. I'm pretty excited because coach just told us in the locker room that there's a chance that if we win sectionals on Tuesday, there's still a chance that we can host a game if we're in the top nine through 16 teams.”
Badilla wasn't the only Raider to put up double-digits, however. Ashley Doering led the team with 13 points, while Kelsey Pangerl put up 10 for Cibola.
The Raiders jumped out to a big lead early, going on a 10-point run in the first quarter to take a 10-2 lead over Kofa. The Kings fought back, making it 20-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The Kings would threaten again in the second quarter, getting within six points with less than four minutes remaining in the half. But the Raiders finished the quarter with a 10-0 run over the Kings to pull away, taking a 38-22 lead into the half.
“It was hard-fought game,” Kofa coach Eric Krepps said. “I thought we did pretty well. They had a run in the second quarter that put them up big. We just couldn't come back from it.”
The Kings lost Jocelyn Castaneda early in the final quarter after she was ejected for striking Doering. Kofa's bright spot came from junior guard Adly Wiley, who had 21 points for the Kings.
“She (Wiley) was hitting it, definitely,” Krepps said. “I wish she would've sunk more free throws, but her shots were dropping. I wish she didn't pick up her third (foul) in the second. ... It might have been a little different game with her out there, but I'm glad she's got one more season.”
The Kings had a ton of chances from the line but couldn't find a way to sink their shots — going 16 for 34 in the game.
“That would've made a huge, huge, huge difference if we would've knocked down more free throws,” Krepps said.
Erin Redmond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6880. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSErinRedmond.