Winslow was the only school of the eight 3A quarterfinals this year who advanced to the state semifinals last year. The Bulldogs are going again.
To get there, No. 9 Winslow had to knock off top-seed Valley Christian and did so by holding off a spirited fourth-quarter comeback to prevail, 63-54, in the late game at Prescott Valley Event Center.
Winslow (24-9) used a balanced attack that saw six players score between eight and 12 points. Trishane Cly led the Bulldogs with 12 points, Pete Dalgai had 11 and Rory Billie, who scored eight points in the third period on athletic moves to the basket, ended up with 10 points. Winslow advances to the semis on Friday at 7 p.m. at Gila River Arena to take on Ganado, which topped Sabino earlier in the day, 54-50. Valley Christian walked off with its season finished at 24-4.
Winslow led nearly the entire game save brief moments in the first and second period, but took command in the latter stages of the second quarter. The Bulldogs brought a 35-24 lead to intermission. They were fueledby Trishane Cly's 12 first-half points. Cly connected on all four 3s he took, three in the second quarter.
Winslow took a 51-41 edge to the final period and scored the first basket of that quarter to go up 12. Over the next 2 1/2 minutes, Valley Christian reeled off an 11-0 run to pull within 53-52 with 5;01 to play. Threes by Matt Svorinic (14 points) and Greyson Howell (15 points) and a pair of layups by Jalen Grijalva (14 points) off turnovers made it anybody's game.
During the next two minutes Valley Christian had possessions to take the lead and five shots were taken, but did not connect. A six-point run by Winslow's Pete Dalgai stretched the margin to 59-52 with 1:24 left. VC got no closer than five and scored its final points on free throws with 1:17 to play.
#5 GANADO 54, #13 SABINO 50: Jamaal Coleman scored six of his 12 points in the final three minutes, including a go-ahead putback to help the Hornets (27-4) outlast the Sabercats (18-12).
Justin Curley, who also scored six points in the final quarter, finished with a team-high 15 points for Ganado. Daryl Lincoln added 13 points and Michael Yellowhaird chipped in with 11. Sabino nearly shot its way to the semis from 3-point range. Blake Rustand had 15 points ( 5 threes), Deonntae Beckwith had 12 points (4 threes) and Andres Aros-Estrella (11 points) to pace Sabino. Sabino made 11 of 21 shots from beyond the arc.
#3 FOUNTAIN HILLS 58, #11 FLORENCE 54 OT: Bryce Andrashie scored seven points in overtime and finished with a game-high 25 points to lead the Falcons past the Gophers. Fountain HIlls (20-6) moves on to the semifinals to face Northwest Chrisitan, a 63-50 winner in another quarterfinal game. Fountain HIllls and Northwest Christian play on Friday at 3:30 at Gila River Arena. Florence ended the season 19-11.
Andrashie and teammate Joe Wagoner combined for eight points to open the overtime and open up the game's largest lead at 55-49. Wagoner tallied 13 points, includng eight in the fourth quarter and overtime combined. Florence post Rarey Sommer, who sent the game to overtime with a bucket in the paint, led the Gophers with 19 points. Teammate Aaron Chapple added 16 and Jared Wood chipped in with 10 points.
#7 NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 63, #2 BLUE RIDGE 50: The Crusaders led from start to finish and gradually pulled away every quarter to knock off the cold-shooting Yellow Jackets.
Andrew Augustine led three NWC players in double-figure scoring with 19 points. Jonah Hamstra (13 points) and Zach Johnson (12 points) were the others. NWC led 11-6 after the first quarter, 29-23 at halftime and 44-35 after three periods. Mason Berges led Blue Ridge with 16 points and Josiah Vital added 12. Blue Ridge was 0 for 12 from 3-point range in the first half.