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Cienega girls reach 4A Kino hoops final

Citizen Staff Writer



It took the entire first half for the rust to wear off for the Cienega High School girls basketball team.

Coming off an eight-day layoff prior to Thursday’s 4A Kino Region semifinal against Nogales, Cienega looked sloppy early with turnovers and poor shooting.

It didn’t last long, though, and Cienega, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, regrouped for a 55-39 win over No. 3 Nogales to advance to Saturday’s Kino region championship against No. 1 Sahuaro.

“Sahuaro is a great team,” said Cienega coach Rob Harrison, whose team split the regular season series with the Cougars. “Hopefully, we can do good and compete with them.”

Saturday’s championship tips off at 12:30 p.m. at Flowing Wells High School.

“This was kind of expected,” Harrison said of the title-game rematch with Sahuaro. “We were lucky to go into halftime with a four-point (19-15) lead. We didn’t shoot the ball that great and still had a lead, which is a luxury.”

Harrison’s halftime talk must have worked. Cienega’s 16-point third quarter was just three points fewer than the 19 the Bobcats scored in the first half.

“We were 3-of-13 shooting 3′s in the first half,” Harrison said. “I told them we can’t make baskets if we don’t shoot. We did a better job in the second half knocking some down.”

Cienega’s first-half struggles on offense were matched by those of Nogales, which scored just four points in the second quarter.

Megan Placencia and Alyssa Deal led the third-quarter surge that allowed Cienega to pull away. Placencia scored seven points and Deal added four in the quarter.

Placencia finished with a game-high 17 points while Deal added 15 and Becca Jaeger contributed 13.

All 4A region tournament basketball games – boys and girls – are being played at Flowing Wells.

4A Sonoran – No. 2 Catalina Foothills 44, No. 3 Marana 42: Foothills’ Shakayla McEaddy led all scorers with 15 points.

4A Gila – No. 2 Douglas 44, No. 3 Catalina 38: Erika Tapia led the Bulldogs with 14 points.

Boys basketball

4A Kino – No. 2 Sabino 47, No. 3 Sahuaro 28: Sabino’s Johnny Lohmeier led with 12 points.

4A Sonoran – No. 4 Cholla 69, No. 2 Pueblo 63: Christian Luna had 25 points for the Chargers.

4A Gila – No. 2 Amphi 66, No. 3 Palo Verde 63: Lester Medford scored 14 points for the Panthers.

Cienega girls use big third quarter for hoops win over Nogales

Region basketball championships

The Class 4A Kino, Sonoran and Gila Region basketball championships are Saturday at Flowing Wells. The Class 5A tournaments begin next week.

Saturday’s schedule

4A Kino: Girls – No. 1 Sahuaro vs. No. 2 Cienega (12:30 p.m.); Boys: No. 1 Cienega vs. No. 2 Sabino (11 a.m.)

4A Sonoran: Girls – No. 1 Canyon del Oro vs. No. 2 Catalina Foothills (7 p.m.); Boys – No. 1 Catalina Foothills vs. No. 4 Cholla (5:30 p.m.)

4A Gila: Girls – No. 1 Palo Verde vs. No. 2 Douglas (3:45 p.m.); Boys – No. 1 Santa Rita vs. No. 2 Amphi (2:15 p.m.)

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