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GIRLS HOOPS: Pusch Ridge held on to beat Tanque Verde 39-33

January 6, 2017 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Bree Olson (Andy Morales/

Pusch Ridge was cruising against Tanque Verde Friday night, up 28-14 with 4:23 left in the third. It was a slow but steady lead, and it looked like it would stand up the rest of the way, but the Hawks made a furious comeback only to have the game come down to one play.

Senior standout Bree Olson wrestled away a missed free throw with 1:47 left with her team clinging to a 35-33 lead. Olson took the rebound and put the shot in to extend the lead to 37-33 and the Lions went on to win the game 39-33.

The rebound and put back was a statement play by Olson.

Olson only had four points heading into the fourth quarter but she came up big with six in the final period to preserve the win. She was also nursing a sore jaw from a collision earlier in the game.

“When I got hurt I told myself we were not going to lose this game,” Olson explained. “This game was too important to let it slip away. I had to get that rebound.”

Olson missed her sophomore season due to an ACL injury and the absence came after her breakout freshman year when she played the guard position and helped lead her team to a 25-6 record. She came back and led her team in scoring her junior year but she also slowly moved her position closer to the basket.

“I’m more of a post player now,” Olson added. “But that position has its perks. I’ve grown a lot stronger and everyone on our team has important roles. This team has really meshed.”

The Colorado Christian commit no longer needs to worry about bringing the ball up or breaking a press due to the addition of sophomore standout Ava Addleman and her freshman sister Angel Addleman. Sophomore guard Cherish Gotcher has also come up big for the Lions this year.

Ava Addleman hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help build the lead in the second quarter and Angel Addleman scored 10 points with six of those points coming on the line in the second half.

The sisters played on the same club team (coached by their father Al Addleman) as the two Tanque Verde freshmen standouts, Ella Berg and Emma Morris. Morris is averaging almost 16 points per game and Berg is averaging 11 but the duo was held to a combined 15 points Friday night.

“We needed to step it up in the first half,” Berg explained. “We needed to play in the beginning like we did at the end but we are a good team and we are building together.”

Like Olson, Tanque Verde senior standout Ava Rauschen gave it all with the game on the line. Rauschen finished with 13 points with seven coming in the wild fourth quarter. Down 35-30 with 2:10 left, Rauschen hit a 3 of the own to cut the lead down 35-33. 

Pusch Ridge improved to 14-1 on the year and 3-0 in the 3A South Region while Tanque Verde moved to 14-2 and 2-1.