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Women's Basketball

CAC Women Defeat Tucson Club Team

OSCAR PEREZ-PINAL CENTRAL
OSCAR PEREZ-PINAL CENTRAL


By ED PETRUSKA Contributing Writer Nov 11, 2017 Casa Grande Dispatch/Pinal Central

SIGNAL PEAK — The final margin of victory was 23 points for the Central Arizona College women's basketball team in its home opener on Saturday at the George Young Activity Center. That was not unexpected since the Vaqueras were facing the Sol, a Tucson club team.

Central was by no means clicking on all cylinders, however, in a 95-72 win that evened their season record at 2-2.

"We absolutely had some lapses," CAC coach Denise Cardenas said. "It's November."

After shooting 55 percent from the field in the first half, the Vaqueras shot 41 percent in the second to finish at 49 percent (35 of 72). Fourteen of their 21 turnovers came in the final two quarters.

But CAC outscored the Sol in every quarter and led by as many as 24 points.

"It was a good game for us," Cardenas said. "We've been working on a lot of things and I saw the girls attempting to get better."

Kiara Knox led the Vaqueras with 23 points, scoring 11 in the first half and 12 in the second. Kendra Butler had nine first-quarter points and finished with 19, and Morticia McCall scored 15.

McCall did the majority of her damage in the opening period, sinking three 3-pointers while putting up 13 points. She helped CAC forge a 28-18 lead, which grew to 52-36 at halftime.

The Sol, comprised of former college players, never got closer than 13 points in the second half.

"Some of those (Sol) girls are talented," Cardenas said. "They just don't have a lot of conditioning because they don't (have the opportunity to) practice."

Four of the Sol's seven players reached double figures, with Kiwa Henderson's 16 points leading the way. Former CAC standout Ashley Sours had 14 points as did Christina Rupp, and Ilana Gonzales scored 12.

The Vaqueras converted 25 Sol turnovers into 21 points and had 19 second-chance points.

The Sol scored 19 points off turnovers and had 10 second-chance points.

Following two early lead changes, Central went ahead to stay at 5-4 on McCall's basket with 7:52 to play in the first quarter. Butler scored six points during a 13-0 surge ignited by McCall's 3-pointer that gave the Vaqueras a 27-13 lead with 1:18 left in the period.

The Sol trailed only 36-32 after Sours' basket with 5:06 remaining in the second quarter. Central responded with a 9-2 run capped by Megan Guadian's 3-pointer to go up 45-34, then closed the period with 7-0 run that ended on Jamie Young's 3-pointer 13 seconds before halftime.

The Vaqueras outscored the Sol 18-14 in the third quarter and 25-22 in the fourth.

The third period concluded with a 9-0 CAC run after the Sol had pulled within 61-48. Knox scored six points during that stretch.

Central's lead grew to 75-51 on a second-chance basket by Knox with 7:19 to play, but the Vaqueras made only one basket in the next three-plus minutes. Aundrina Chavez's 3-pointer ended a 7-0 run for the Sol that made it 77-61 with 5:08 left.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Rupp and Shareeka Purnell trimmed CAC's lead to 85-72 with 1:09 remaining. But Zhane Lewis scored all eight of her points in the final minute, making two field goals and 4 of 4 free throws, as the Vaqueras polished off the victory with a 10-0 run.

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