The Pima Community College women's basketball team (23-7) held off a fourth quarter rally against Scottsdale Community College (12-18) to advance to the Region I, Division II championship game.
The No. 2 seeded Aztecs defeated the No. 3 Artichokes 86-76 on Tuesday at the West Campus. The Aztecs will play No. 1 seed Mesa Community College on Saturday night. It will be the eighth time in nine years the Aztecs and the Thunderbirds will meet for the Region title.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Artichokes went on a 6-0 run to cut Pima's lead to 73-71. They made it a two-point game once more until the Aztecs took over. Sophomores Sydni Stallworth (Palo Verde HS) and Denesia Smith (Cienega HS) help orchestrate an 11-1 run to retake the double digit lead at 86-74 and put the game away.
After a tight first quarter where the game was tied at 19-19, freshman Izzy Spruit (Mesquite HS) produced the hot hand in the second quarter as she went 4 for 4 from three-point range and put the Aztecs up by double digits. The Aztecs outscored the Artichokes 33-19 for the quarter and took a 52-38 lead at the break.
Stallworth dropped a game-high 31 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. She sliced and diced her way to the foul line as she finished 14 for 16. Spruit had 12 points as she finished 4 for 6 from downtown. Smith and sophomore Bree Cates each had 10 points while sophomore Moana Hala'ufia contributed with eight points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Erin Peterson (Catalina Foothills HS) had six points and nine rebounds.
The Aztecs will look to break a Region finals pattern as the home team has won in each of the seven meetings. The Aztecs and the Thunderbirds will play on Saturday in Mesa at 7:30 p.m.
SCC 19 19 23 15 76
PCC 19 33 17 17 86