Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Jayci McClain and the Pima Roughriders rolled over the Tombstone Yellow Jackets on Tuesday, 73-5.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – The visiting Tombstone Yellow Jackets scored just one field goal in each half as the Pima Roughriders’ smothering defense propelled them to a 73-5 victory Tuesday night.
It was the first game since returning as runner-up at the Round Valley Roundball Shootout, falling in the championship game in the last minutes to Alchesay, 39-43.
“This was a region game, so it helped us (with) power points, but seeing Alchesay (in the Roundball Shootout) helped us a lot,” said Pima head coach Roy Corona. “They pressed the whole game and that makes us better. And this game – what can you do in a game like this? Just work on things individually that we need to work on.”
Seniors Jayci McClain and Ashlynn Chlarson got it started for the Riders with inside/outside play. McClain lit it up early with the first of four 3-pointers on the night to help Pima race out to a 5-0 lead. McClain finished with 17 points on the night.
On the inside, Chlarson punished the Yellow Jackets with good post position and easy buckets from good interior passes. Chlarson finished the night with 15 points and was a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line.
Adysen Hoopes took the baton from Chlarson in the second quarter and continued the dominance down low, scoring all of her 8 points in the quarter, including an and-one play.
Pima’s defense caused a lot of headaches for Tombstone’s players, and a lot of turnovers. Additionally, Tombstone rarely got more than one shot per trip down the court as the Riders’ defensive rebounding was superb.
The Yellow Jackets got on the board about halfway through the first period when Kashani Baker hit a short shot. It would end up being their only field goal of the half as Pima went into the break up 38-3.
It was more of the same in the second half except some of the names of the featured players changed.
In the third period, it was the Ella Wiltbank show, as she nailed two of her 3-balls and scored multiple times on her way to a game-high 18 points.
Emalea Llamas was a beast on defense all game and ran the point to go along with her 8 points, while Sadie Richardson finished with 4, and Madison Gann nailed a deep ball for 3 points.
A mercy-rule running clock in the fourth period shortened the game, and Baker hit Tombstone’s other field goal early in the fourth to give her 4 points for the game.
Pima (7-1) will next host the Bisbee Pumas (4-3) on Friday, Dec. 16, starting at 5:30 p.m.
In other local prep girls basketball action, Morenci (3-3) defeated Santa Rita 55-13. The Wildcats will next play in the 46th annual Girls’ Eastern Arizona Holiday Tournament at EAC, Dec. 19-21.
Fort Thomas (10-1) defeated St. David 49-46. The Apaches next host the Duncan Wildkats (3-6) on Friday, Dec. 15, starting at 5:30 p.m. The Wildkats defeated San Manuel 52-27.