The SCA Varsity Girls entered the Arizona 2A Metro Regional Tournament Finals at the Veritas Preparatory Academy against the Phoenix Country Day School Eagles, a team that had beaten SCA twice 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 fifth straight 2A Metro Regional title.
The game began as a cagey, defensive affair with very few good looks and the officials allowing a wide range of physical play. As in the last meeting between these two teams, PCDS took advantage of this environment to consistently convert on wild and contested shots that went in, or take advantage of four-on-five breaks while an SCA player recovered from a hard spill in the back court. On the other hand, SCA was unable to capitalize on their offensive opportunities early until Brooke Hancock finally converted a put-back with three minutes to go in the first, and PCDS led 17-2 after the first quarter.
The bruised and battered SCA squad collected themselves in the second quarter and stiffened up their defense. Meanwhile Country Day put on an ill-advised full-court press, which SCA proceeded to disassemble with relative ease. Kathryn Dick started a campaign of driving her defender to the basket to score or shoot free throws, and these tough points slowly began to flow her way as the officials were forced to call fouls. Senior Heather Hancock and sophomore Lily Richardson spelled exhausted teammates and provided a lift with good defensive rebounding. Still, nothing else was working on offense for SCA, and Country Day took a 28-10 lead into half time.
The officials began to tighten the game in the third quarter, and SCA took heart from better outcomes on offense. In the final moments of the quarter Jordan McDonald began to find and sink open looks from behind the long line, while also earning trips to the free throw line and drawing triple-teams before hitting Brooke Hancock inside for wide open looks as SCA cut the deficit to eight points. Freshman Ana Faustinos and Daphne Garland entered the game to provide fresh legs and more aggressive driving to the basket. SCA had cut into the PCDS lead, but were still down 36-23 after three.
The final period saw even tighter refereeing, and SCA took advantege of the more closely-called environment to drive and collect fouls, finally getting into the bonus. Freshman Sophia Lane propped up the defense inside, and Savannah Cardona braved the violent maelstrom that was the lane to drive and score. Brooke Hancock put back two offensive rebounds, while on the defensive end Kathryn Dick became a fiery ball of deflections, personal fouls, steals and held balls as SCA dragged themselves back into contention. Sophomore Allyson Lund hit a cutting Hayden Hancock for two, and sophomore Baylee Tobin saw out the game at point guard, but Scottsdale Christian could not score quite enough points in the time allowed to overcome that first quarter deficit, relinquishing their hold on the Metro Regional crown for the first time in five years.
As a result of the outcome of this regional final, SCA will enter the Arizona state tournament as a low seed and travel on Tuesday, February 18 to compete in a play-in game against another 2A opponent for a berth in the quarter finals of the Arizona tourney.