GLENDALE – She may be wearing a new uniform and playing with new teammates, but Canyon del Oro High School’s Nadi Carey is exactly where she was one year ago – helping to lead her team into a state championship game.
Carey, a junior on last year’s Flowing Wells state title girls basketball team before transferring this season, scored 12 points Thursday to help No. 1 CDO beat No. 5 Phoenix Shadow Mountain 50-31 in the Class 4A Division I semifinals in the Jobing.com Arena.
“Obviously I’ve experienced (a championship game before), but I want it more for my teammates,” Carey said. “I want them to get a ring.”
CDO was led in scoring by Nicole Ruiz, who had 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
CDO (27-1) will play No. 2 Tempe McClintock (21-7) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, also in the Jobing.com Arena. It will be the first girls basketball championship game for the school since the Dorados won it all in 1987.
As for Thursday’s win, the Dorados knew they had a game plan that would work after having already defeating Shadow Mountain earlier this year 52-42 at CDO.
“(We changed) absolutely nothing,” Dorados coach Kerri Brown said. “We played them once and we beat them by 10.”
The December victory came without the services of the then-injured Dorados senior Sydney Lewis, so CDO knew it was going to have even more firepower Thursday and was comfortable with what it would get from its opponent.
“We knew what they were coming with,” Carey said. “I’m glad we played them at the beginning of the year. It got all the jitters out.”
CDO never trailed Thursday and outscored Shadow Mountain in every quarter, including 19-8 in the fourth quarter. The Dorados closed the game on a 13-2 run capped by Ruiz’s second 3-pointer.
“We played smarter in the second half . . . doing the little things that matter,” Brown said.
CDO broke down Shadow Mountain’s defense with effective penetration and took 20 free throws in the game, making nine.
CDO’s Carey wants title ring for teammates
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CDO title games
The Canyon del Oro girls basketball team will play in a state title game next week for the third time.
2009: Tuesday vs. Tempe McClintock
1987: beat Mesa High 69-53
1985: lost to Phoenix South Mountain 43-42