The SCA Varsity Girls entered the Arizona 2A State Tournament Play-in at the Sedona Red Rock High School Scorpions' home court, a team that had beaten SCA on their previous journey north in the regular season. Coach Bob Fredericks sent out seniors Jordan McDonald and Hayden Hancock, junior Kathryn Dick, and sophomores Brooke Hancock and Savannah Cardona in search of a quarterfinal berth in Prescott.
The Scorpions jumped out to an early lead on a steal and fast break, followed by good three-point shooting, but combative offensive rebounding led to put-back baskets for first Hayden Hancock and then Brooke Hancock. SCA was able to move the ball well and obtain some good looks both inside and outside, but it was Sedona and not the Eagles who was able to convert from contested shots early in the quarter. Eventually Jordan McDonald scored from three, and Kathryn Dick closed out the quarter with a pair of mid-range jump shots off the bounce, including a buzzer-beater to close the gap to 14-11 after the first quarter.
The Eagles' normally reliable long-distance shooting was not working well in the unfriendly confines of the away gym, and although Jordan McDonald struck once again from long distance, that was the only field goal SCA could convert in the second quarter, relying on free throws from Brooke Hancock, Kathryn Dick and Jordan McDonald to stay in the game as the first half ended with the Eagles down 24-18.
In the third quarter Savannah Cardona carried the team, scoring eight points off long range shooting while the rest of the team went cold. Sophomore Lily Richardson and freshman Daphne Garland entered the game to help move the ball, but SCA could not finish their opportunities. The Scorpions continued to work the ball well, passing the ball to warp the Eagles defense and score when defensive rotations failed to extend their lead to 39-26.
As they had all season, the Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter, out-scoring their opponents and putting on a tremendous defensive display. Jordan McDonald and Kathryn Dick blocked shots, Savannah Cardona and freshman Ana Faustinos collected steals, and Heather Hancock added rebounding force to the defense. Hayden Hancock and Kathryn Dick both drove their defenders to the lane for baskets, Jordan McDonald hit Brooke Hancock in the low post twice, and both Savannah Cardona and Jordan McDonald knocked down shots from the long line to bring the Eagles within four points of their hosts. Despite the furious rally, however, it was not enough, and the Scorpions ran out the clock to send the Eagles home and advance to the quarter finals.
The Eagles finished a winning season with an exciting game, and the fans in attendance were treated to mature displays of skill and bravery as the varsity girls' basketball team closed out their year. Congratulations to all the coaches and players on a good season!