Most Viewed Stories
Senior guards lead Kofa past Havasu
Both Kofa and Lake Havasu entered Tuesday's showdown in desperate need of a win to sure up their power point positions.
The Kings played like it early, and walked off their home court for the last time this year with a victory.
Kofa scored the first 12 points, eight in the first minute, and rolled to a 56-34 win over the Knights in a Gila Valley Region battle.
The top 16 teams in each 5A division make the playoffs - although the bottom teams may be bumped out by region tournament winners that finished less than 16th - and Kofa (11-5 overall, 7-2 region) entered the night 17th in 5A-I and Havasu (8-9, 4-5) in a tie for 15th in 5A-II.
"We need every power point we can get, so we need to win, period," Kofa coach Eric Krepps said. "The girls knew it, we knew. I knew it going in that we'd have to win our last two games to maybe get up to the No. 15 spot. ... We have the region tournament next week, so those are our two shots to get in."
Amanda Garcia scored the first two buckets on fast-break layups for Kofa, then backcourt mate Ronnie Moreno added two more before the first minute of the game had passed. The Kings had leads of 12-0, 29-8, 35-10 and 48-18 in the lopsided contest.
"We're a fast team and we like to get up and down the court," Garcia said. "That helped us a lot."
The Kings weren't using a formal press, Krepps said, but instead just pressuring the rebounder into making a poor pass.
"(Freshman center) Kacey Nady did an excellent job putting it on the floor, and the two guards did an excellent job swarming the next player," Krepps said. "They had a hard time getting the ball across half court for awhile, which was good."
Lake Havasu committed 17 turnovers which led to 17 Kofa points in the first half. Garcia finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Moreno had 16 points, including 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
The game was the last home game of the regular-season for the Kings, who play Friday at San Luis before likely hosting a region tournament game Tuesday and possible Wednesday.
Even though the Kings had a decided height advantage over the Knights - who had just seven players on their roster and had two foul out - the guards Moreno and Garcia keyed the scoring attack, including scoring in the paint.
"They're the dynamic duo for us," Krepps said. "They keep the ball out of the middle on our press, always have a hand in the shooter's face. They're going to be hard to replace. Senior Night, seeing two senior guards who are your workhorses, it's hard. Ronnie was getting emotional before the game when they were about to call her name. It shows you how emotional they are about the game. We built them that way. They want to run up and down the court. It's hard to reign them in."
Mimi Wright had 12 rebounds to lead the Kings, who had a 49-38 edge on the glass. Havasu shot 16-for-52 from the floor, while the Kings were 23-for-49. Sayg Day was the only Knight in double digits with 11.
Kofa, which had won the first three GVR tournaments before losing last year to Cibola, had made the playoffs five straight years before missing out last season. Krepps said he hoped the team had a "fire in their bellies" to get back.
Garcia said the team is focused on that goal.
"We need the power points to get to state and not rely on the region tournament," Garcia said. "It was a very important game, and Friday is an important game too."