Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jayci McClain brings the ball down the court. The Pima Roughriders utilized a lock-down defense to propel them past Morenci on Tuesday night, 56-18.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – The No. 3 ranked Pima Roughriders (12-0 2A East, 25-2 overall) finished their regular season with a 56-18 blowout victory over the No. 20 Morenci Wildcats (5-7 2A East, 11-13 overall) on Tuesday. The Roughriders will now wait for the 2A Conference Play-In games to conclude Thursday to find out who they play in Round 1.
“This was a good game for us,” said Pima head coach Roy Corona.
The 2A Girls Basketball State Championship playoffs will run Feb. 17 and 18 in the Prescott area for Round 1 and the quarterfinals, with the semifinals and finals played Feb. 24 and 25 at Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
Pima 56 – Morenci 18
Ashlynn Chlarson opened the first period with 13 of her game-high 26 points and Pima never trailed as they jumped all over Morenci, 16-4 at the end of the first.
Morenci had no answer for Chlarson, who scored at will in the paint on posts and after getting rebounds. Chlarson also showed off her range and stepped back after dodging a close-out by a defender to nail a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Pima’s other senior, Jayci McClain, was just as tenacious on defense, leading the vaunted Pima press that resulted in numerous turnovers and easy transition buckets. McClain nailed two 3-pointers of her own to finish with 11 points.
“I started with these two as freshmen and followed them all the way through,” said Corona. “Ashlynn is a stud; Jayci runs the offense. Nothing I can say.”
Other scorers for Pima included Sadie Richardson with 6, Emalea Llamas and Adysen Hoopes with 4 each, Maddi Gann with 3, and Ella Wiltbank with 2.
While points were at a premium for Morenci, the Wildcats were led by Elena Leonard, who finished with 11 points – 7 coming in the final mercy-rule-shortened 4th period. Mia Ontiveros was the only other Wildcat who scored with 7.
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