YC boys advance; girls season ends in Prescott Valley
It was a bittersweet first round for Yuma Catholic in the Arizona Interscholastic Association Division IV State Tournament.
The Shamrock boys advanced with a 72-59 win over No. 22 Rock Point on Saturday morning, but the girls lost to No. 10 San Miguel 55-41 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.
On the boys' side, No. 11 Yuma Catholic got a strong performance from its freshmen standouts and overcame a rough defensive first quarter to breeze past the Cougars.
Freshman post Matt Pistone notched a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds while freshman point guard Carter Rodriguez finished with 20 points and six assists. Sophomore Peter Hurtado added 17 points and sophomore post Grady Bourguignon chipped in eight rebounds and seven rebounds.
The performance of the Shamrocks' young players — along with some stellar defense by senior guard Everett McKinney — was a recipe for a win over the Cougars.
“All five of our starters got it done,” Shamrocks coach Brooks Neumann said.
The Cougars led 19-14 after the first quarter. Senior post Ken Thomas and guard Tyler Goldtooth each scored 16 points in the game for Rock Point.
But Rodriguez routinely broke the Cougars' full-court man-to-man press, which led to easy baskets for his teammates, like Pistone and Hurtado.
“(Rock Point) was a scrappy team but we just had better players,” Neumann said.
With a comfortable lead, the Shamrocks spent the final four minutes on the free-throw line — where they went 19 for 24 from on the day.
“It was unbelievable,” Neumann said. “We're usually a 50-percent team from the line.”
With the win, the Shamrocks will advance to face No. 6 El Capitan (15-2) on either Friday or Saturday at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott.
While the boys came back from Prescott on Saturday in jubilation, the girls returned with their season ended.
Trailing by double-digits in the second half, the Shamrocks managed to fight their way back and make it a four-point game with less than four minutes to go. However, No. 23 Yuma Catholic needed to take chances on defense and it resulted in sending the No. 10 Vipers to the line — where they extended the lead.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win it late,” Yuma Catholic coach Bob McGalliard said. “We got it within four.”
Sophomore point guard Madison Brazeel led the Shamrocks with 20 points to go with four assists and two steals. Junior guard Makena Zamora had 10 rebounds to go with five points and Chelsey Mendenhall had six points and nine rebounds.
San Miguel's star guard, senior Maciel Moreno, was too much for the Shamrocks. Moreno finished with 22 points.
“Their whole offense was geared around getting her the ball,” McGalliard.
Jesse Severson can be reached at email@example.com or at 539-6881. Find him at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson