JC HOOPS: Pima women denied return trip to National Tournament - Tucson News Now

JC HOOPS: Pima women denied return trip to National Tournament

The Thunderbirds beat Pima three times this season by a combined seven points (Photo courtesy: Aaron Webster) The Thunderbirds beat Pima three times this season by a combined seven points (Photo courtesy: Aaron Webster)

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team played catch-up for most of its game against Mesa Community College but the Aztecs produced a late surge only to fall short in the end.

The No. 2 seeded Pima Aztecs failed to repeat as women’s Region I, Division II champions as they lost to the No. 1 seeded Mesa Thunderbirds 74-72. 

Mesa (22-8) defeated the Aztecs (23-8) three times this season by a combined seven points.

Sophomore Moana Hala’ufia (Marana HS) missed a game-tying shot attempt as time expired. 

Sophomore Sydni Stallworth finished with a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. 

Sophomore Bree Cates finished with 15 points while sophomore Denesia Smith contributed with 12 points, four assists and two steals. 

This was the eighth time in nine years the Aztecs and Thunderbirds had met for the Region I, Division II championship. The home team has won each meeting.

The women’s basketball program had its sixth 20-plus win season in coach Todd Holthaus’ 10 seasons at the helm. He won his 200th game earlier this season.

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