Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Pima center Ashlynn Chlarson shows off her ball-handling skills as she goes coast-to-coast for the score. Pima defeated San Carlos 71-39 to move onto the 2A Girls State Basketball semifinals.
Roughriders to take on No. 4 St. Johns in semis
By Jon Johnson
PRESCOTT VALLEY – The Pima Roughriders girls basketball team continued their quest for a repeat 2A Girls State Basketball Championship with a 71-39 victory over No. 8 San Carlos at the Findlay Toyota Center on Saturday.
Pima will next play No. 4, St. Johns, on Friday, Feb. 25, at Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.
The Roughriders had advanced to the quarterfinals with an opening-round 77-15 victory over No. 16 Horizon Honors on Friday.
On the other side of the bracket, last year’s runner-up (via a last one-tenth of a second 3-pointer by Aubrie Sherwood) No. 2 Sedona Red Rock has been equally dominant on its march back to the championship game. Sedona faces No. 3 St. John Paul II in the other semifinal matchup. The championship game will be at the same venue on Saturday at 12 p.m.
After winning the tip, Pima fed the ball back to center Ashlynn Chlarson and she put in the quick bucket to open up the scoring. Chlarson was consistent all night and finished with 16 points off six field goals and by going a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. As a team, Pima was 14-15 from the line.
After Chlarson broke the ice, the Roughriders caught fire from deep with Saydee Allred nailing three 3’s and Ashlie Sherwood putting in two of her own in the first quarter to open up 23-7, and that was before Pima initiated its full-court press. Allred added another 3-pointer in the third to finish with 21 points on the night.
With the zone pressure, Pima forced multiple turnovers in the second quarter, and Ashlie Sherwood was the recipient of many fast-break assists off the turnovers. She hit four field goals (three layups and one 3-pointer) and went 3-3 from the charity stripe. Ashlie finished with a game-high 24 points.
After putting up 23 points in the first quarter, the Roughriders added another 20 in the second quarter and went into the break, up 43-17.
The trio of Allred, Chlarson, and Ashlie Sherwood continued to punish San Carlos in the third quarter with another 20-point outing to put Pima up 63-27. That caused a mercy-rule running clock in the fourth quarter, and the final score was 71-29. Other scorers for Pima included Aubrie Sherwood with 6 points, and Kyli Mattice finished with 4 points.
“This was a good game for us,” said Pima head coach Roy Corona. “We came out hot, hitting 3’s. Honestly, I was a little scared of this game with the crowd atmosphere but we came out hot and played well. On to the semis where we want to be.”