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CAC’s big blitz leaves Scottsdale in the dust

Kendra Butler takes off Wednesday night in Scottsdale win
Kendra Butler takes off Wednesday night in Scottsdale win

Ed Petruska Casa Grande Dispatch-Pinal Central

SIGNAL PEAK — Once the Central Arizona College women's basketball team got rolling, there was no stopping the Vaqueras.

Overcoming a sluggish start with a humongous second-quarter surge that carried into the third, Central rolled to an 85-44 victory over Scottsdale on Wednesday night at the George Young Activity Center.

The Vaqueras (14-6, 10-2 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) closed the second period by outscoring the Artichokes 27-0 to take a 46-22 halftime lead. CAC tallied the first four points of the third quarter before Scottsdale (4-16, 1-11 ACCAC) finally ended a drought that lasted nearly 10 minutes.

There were seven lead changes and seven ties prior to Central's big breakout.

"Our starts are terrible," CAC coach Denise Cardenas said. "They actually scare me a little bit. I'm just thankful there was a lot of game left. We have to get better at coming out better."

Kiara Knox led the Vaqueras with 23 points, getting all but two in the second and third quarters. She came into the game as the top scorer in the ACCAC with an 18.1 average.

Megan Guadian hit four of Central's eight 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, and Kendra Butler scored 10 off the bench. Reserve Jamie Young sank three 3-pointers and had nine points.

The Artichokes went up 22-19 with 7:58 left in the second quarter before the Vaqueras turned the tide. The run began with makes on six consecutive possessions, including a pair of 3-pointers by Guadian.

"We hit a few shots, and defensively we got a few steals," Cardenas said. "That got us going."

CAC made 11 straight shots in the second before its first miss. The Vaqueras went 14 for 18 from the field in the period, scoring 13 of their 31 points off turnovers.

The Artichokes closed the half by going 0 for 6 from the floor with 11 turnovers on 16 possessions.

Knox had 11 points in the third quarter as Central outscored Scottsdale 21-9 to take a 67-31 lead. The Vaqueras ended that period with a 14-2 run.

The margin grew to a game-high 44 points at 82-38 on a Zhane Lewis free throw with 3:03 to play.

"I was happy with a few minutes here and there," Cardenas said. "I saw glimpses of what this team can be. We just have to put more consecutive good minutes together."

Kenyah Duran was Scottsdale's leading scorer with 11 points.

CAC shot 49 percent from the field (35 of 71), but connected on only 7 of 20 free throws. The Vaqueras converted 31 Scottsdale turnovers into 19 points and outscored the Artichokes 17-7 in second-chance points.

Scottsdale shot 37 percent from the floor (17 of 46) and made 8 of 17 free throws. The Artichokes scored 12 points off CAC's 16 turnovers.

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