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Sick Brazeel leads Shamrocks in huge win over Salome
YC 16-11-14-9-14 — 64
SHS 17-11-11-11-0 — 50
Yuma Catholic — Madison Brazeel 30, Zamora 19, Terkelsen 9, McAllister 3, Rowlison 2, Martin 1, Vandervoort, Morris
Salome — Ashley Farwell 27, Manuel 11, Rohrig 4, Brizuela 4, Ruiz 2, Fortenberry 2, Cruz
Yuma Catholic point guard Madison Brazeel didn't have time to worry about her 102-degree temperature.
Not with a potential playoff spot on the line.
The junior guard delivered a masterpiece performance as the Shamrocks picked up an emotional 64-50 overtime win over a short-handed Salome at home Tuesday night.
A visibly ill Brazeel played the entire game and finished with 30 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists in what Shamrocks coach Bob McGalliard called the most emotional of the season.
“I saw the Michael Jordan commercial this morning and he had the stomach flu and came out and had a huge game and played great so I used that for motivation,” Brazeel said of the Gatorade commercial depicting Jordan's flu-ridden 38-point performance in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. “I wanted to get a win for these seniors, I didn't want to sit on the bench.”
“The whole team is important, but she makes us go,” McGalliard said of Brazeel. “I saw her this morning and I talked to her about the Michael Jordan thing, too, and I said that's what great players do. They step up, no matter the conditions. And let me tell you something, I know she wasn't feeling her best but she was phenomenal.”
Brazeel combined with senior guard Makena Zamora to score 13 of the 14 points in overtime for the Shamrocks. Playing in her last game at Yuma Catholic, Zamora finished with 19 points — including 12 in the second half and overtime.
“That's a great way to go out on the home court,” Zamora said. “They were undefeated. Knowing it was senior night and they were undefeated, it was really emotional.”
The Shamrocks (10-7) entered the night No. 9 in Division IV Section I, with the top eight teams going to the playoffs. Salome, which was missing two of its starters, came into the game a perfect 16-0 and the No. 3 team in the section and the state.
The Frogs (16-1) got most of their offense from their two talented guards, with Ashley Farwell scoring a team-high 27 points and Kendrah Manuel adding 11. The Shamrocks caught a break when Manuel picked up her fourth foul with 3:58 left in the second quarter and fouled out with 2:09 left in overtime.
The largest lead for either team in regulation was five — when Brazeel hit a 3-pointer to make it 39-34 late in the third quarter. It was a seesaw game for all four quarters, with eight ties and 13 lead changes on the night.
The Shamrocks held a 50-46 lead late in the fourth after Zamora grabbed a rebound, drove the entire length of the court and laid it in with 1:40 left. However, the Frogs answered with a basket by Sarah Brizuela and got a turnover and layup by Farwell to tie it 50-50. The Shamrocks gave the ball back to Salome on a five-second call out of bounds and later sent Manuel to the line for two free throws with five seconds left.
Yuma Catholic ended up giving her four attempts to take the lead because of a pair of lane violations — one by freshman Lindsay Martin and the other by Zamora. Manuel, much to the pleasure of a raucous Shamrock crowd, missed all four.
“Oh, thank gosh, we still have another chance,” Brazeel said what she was thinking after the fourth free throw missed. “This is a great opportunity, so we have to take advantage of it.”
Yuma Catholic won the tip in overtime and got a quick free throw by Martin, then Brazeel and Zamora took over from there. Each picked up a basket then went a combined 9 for 14 from the free-throw line to seal the win for the Shamrocks, who shutout the Frogs in overtime.
“This is a huge game. This is a chance to get into the playoffs and we played unbelievable,” Brazeel said. “We played with heart and desire.”
The Shamrocks end their season at Tonopah Valley tonight and hope the win over Salome is big enough to help get them in the playoffs.
“Tonight was senior night and we have a playoff spot on the line,” McGalliard said. “Salome is as good of a team around and for them to come down here and us to get the win, it's unbelievable because it was a must-win for us.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at email@example.com or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.