Ed Petruska Contributing Writer Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — The Central Arizona College women's basketball team put on a dazzling show in its final home game of the regular season.
Six players scored in double figures as the Vaqueras overwhelmed Eastern Arizona 106-57 on Saturday at the George Young Activity Center. The point total was one shy of CAC's season high.
"There's always a lot of extra energy when we say goodbye to our sophomores," CAC coach Denise Cardenas said. "We used a lot of different rotations. Our goal was to play together no matter who was on the floor."
Four of the Vaqueras' six sophomores finished in double figures, led by Kiara Knox with 17 points. Kendra Butler and Juliet Currency both scored 14 (a season best for Currency) and Jamie Young had 12. CAC also got 13 points from Megan Guadian and 10 from Morticia McCall in reaching 100 points for the second straight game (Central defeated Pima 106-82 on Wednesday night) and the fourth time overall.
CAC plays at South Mountain on Tuesday before starting postseason play on March 6 against Arizona Western. The Vaqueras are 20-9 overall and 16-5 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.
"I'd like to think we're building off our last two games," Cardenas said. "It's been a roller-coaster ride this year and every game is a big one. We just have to take care of business."
The Vaqueras bolted to a 14-3 lead against the Gila Monsters (5-24, 5-16 ACCAC). They were up 29-6 after one quarter, 43-17 at halftime and 71-38 after three periods.
Central was active at both ends, converting 24 Eastern turnovers into 28 points and outscoring the Gila Monsters 29-9 in second-chance points. The Vaqueras shot 44 percent from the field, going 12 for 36 on 3-pointers and 40 of 92 overall.
After shooting 24 percent in the first half (6 of 25), Eastern finished at 36 percent (22 of 62).
Currency scored nine of CAC's first 20 points. The Vaqueras had 12 points off nine turnovers and seven second-chance points in the opening quarter.
The second period began with Central making four of its first five shots, including 3-pointers by Guadian and Young, to build a 41-9 lead with 6:59 left. But the Vaqueras made just one of their final 17 shots in the quarter, a second-chance basket by Young with 45 seconds remaining.
Three-pointers by Guadian and Alexis Vaughn keyed a 14-5 run to begin the third quarter. CAC took a 39-point lead at 68-29 on Currency's basket with 2:31 left.
The margin grew to 41 points at 93-52 on the second of back-to-back baskets by Butler with 3:57 to play. A 3-pointer by Cassandra Gonzalez gave CAC its largest lead of 50 points with 36.5 seconds left.
Miyah Ursery was Eastern's top scorer with 21 points, followed by Kiara Goseyun with 12 and Sariah Wi Neera with 10.
Cochise has already wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the three-team Division I Region 1 tournament and will host the title game on March 9. The Vaqueras will play at home on March 6 if they defeat South Mountain (11-14, 8-12) and Western loses to either Chandler-Gilbert (5-23, 3-17) on Saturday or Pima (21-7, 15-5) on Tuesday.