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Vaqueras take control early in rout of Glendale

Ayanna Clark hits for 34 in Vaqueras Saturday night win. -Oscar Perez Pinal Central
Ayanna Clark hits for 34 in Vaqueras Saturday night win. -Oscar Perez Pinal Central

SIGNAL PEAK — Playing perhaps its most complete game of the season, the Central Arizona College women's basketball team rolled to a 99-60 victory over Glendale on Saturday at the George Young Activity Center.

The Vaqueras scored on their first nine possessions, going 8 for 9 from the field in building a 20-5 lead, and the Gauchos never came closer than 14 points after the first quarter. The 39-point margin of victory was a season best for Central (18-8, 14-5 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference).

"We had a different look in our eyes," CAC coach Denise Cardenas said. "I hope we can build off this performance. That's when you want to catch fire — down the stretch."

The Vaqueras have three regular-season games left before the three-team Division I Region 1 tournament begins on March 5. Central is looking to host Eastern Arizona in the first round, with the winner advancing to the title game at Cochise on March 8.

"We can't let up," Cardenas said. "We just have to keep working hard every day in practice. That's where it starts."

Ayanna Clark scored 34 points for the Vaqueras, getting 27 in the first half. Megan Guadian made six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, and CAC got 10 apiece from Makayla Pippin and Zhane Lewis.

Central led 31-16 after one quarter, 48-30 at halftime and 77-48 heading into the final period. The Vaqueras shot 44 percent from the field, going 10 for 30 on 3-pointers and 40 of 90 overall. They outscored Glendale 25-5 in second-chance points, converted 23 turnovers by the Gauchos into 25 points, and committed just eight turnovers.

"You work day in and day out for that kind of (performance)," Cardenas said. "When we don't do it, it's extremely frustrating. We have to do that consistently."

Glendale (8-19, 3-16 ACCAC) has lost 12 straight. The skid began with an 87-79 overtime loss to Central on Jan. 9.

The Gauchos never had a chance this time. Glendale shot 38 percent, going 13 for 38 from the field in the last three quarters after making 7 of 15 attempts in the first.

Clark had 16 points in the first quarter and 11 in the second, when CAC twice led by 22. She came in averaging 22.7 points, second-most in the ACCAC.

The margin grew to 24 points at 59-35 on Guadian's 3-pointer and reached 29 at 70-41 on Pippin's 3-pointer. A 3-pointer by Alexis Vaughn put the Vaqueras ahead by 32 points at 77-45 with 34 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kirsten Shinske led the Gauchos with 21 points, followed by Mallory Vivola with 16, Tierney Dedonatis with 11 and Victoria Lamas with 10. Dedonatis came in averaging 19.9 points, third-most in the ACCAC.

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