Aztecs men's basketball breakout season ends after loss to Parkland College

The Pima men's basketball team received medals and a NJCAA Division II tournament participation trophy. The Aztecs' dream season ended after they fell to Parkland College 104-90. The Aztecs finished 22-13 overall; the most wins in program history since 1989-90 season.
The Pima men's basketball team received medals and a NJCAA Division II tournament participation trophy. The Aztecs' dream season ended after they fell to Parkland College 104-90. The Aztecs finished 22-13 overall; the most wins in program history since 1989-90 season.

The Pima Community College men's basketball team's season came to a halt on Friday in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA Division II Tournament.

The No. 8 seeded Aztecs couldn't find rhythm on either side of the basketball and lost to No. 4 seeded Parkland College 104-90.

The Aztecs surrendered a 16-0 run to the Cobras in the early minutes of the game to fall behind 26-9. They came back with a 7-0 run to cut to 26-16 but could not stop their three-point shooting. The Aztecs trailed by as much as 20 points at 42-22 and cut it to 13 points at 46-33 after sophomore Jacob Anastasi (Cactus Shadows HS) hit a three-pointer. The Cobras went 9 for 16 from three-point range in the first half as the Aztecs trailed 51-33 at the break. Pima uncharacteristically had no free throw attempts in the first half.

In the second half, the Aztecs couldn't contain the onslaught as the Cobras led between 18-22 points for much of the half. The Aztecs got as close as 14 points late in the game.

Freshman Alize Travis was a bright spot for the Aztecs as he finished with a game-high 18 points on 7 for 10 shooting. He also had seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Anastasi had 16 points on 6 for 8 shooting with four rebounds and two assists. Freshman Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) scored 13 points off the bench while sophomore Damon Dubots finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block.

Sophomores Deion James (Empire HS) and Emilio Acedo (Salpointe Catholic HS) struggled to find their shot as they each had 11 points.

The Aztecs finished the season with their best overall record under coach Brian Peabody at 22-13. According to Pima men's basketball records, the team hasn't won 22 games in a single season since the 1989-90 season. The Aztecs won 13 ACCAC conference games this year; their best total since the 2000-01 season.

"I'm really proud of my guys, they accomplishment something no other Pima team in the history of school has…Elite 8. I just didn't want the season to end," Peabody said.

The Aztecs took home their first Region I, Division II Championship since the 2009-10 season. Sophomore Deion James had 20 double-doubles on the season and was named ACCAC Co-player of the Year. James and Acedo could potentially be named NJCAA Division II All-Americans later this month.