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Aztecs head to national tournament for 1st time

Citizen Staff Writer



The Pima Community College women’s basketball team made history Thursday night.

Pima is headed to the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament after defeating visiting Glendale Community College 61-47.

It marks the first time Pima has advanced to the event, which starts March 18 in Peoria, Ill.

“Our team dreamed to go to nationals because it hasn’t happened before at Pima,” said Aztecs freshman center Tia Morrison. “Everybody had the same dream and I knew we were going to do it.”

Former University of Arizona assistant coach Todd Holthaus turned the Pima program around in his second season with a squad that featured nine freshmen.

“For these girls to accomplish what they have as freshmen is unbelievable,” Holthaus said. “It feels good. I am happy for them.

“At the beginning, our expectations to make the playoffs. For us to be 26-5 is unbelievable. They exceeded our expectations and any records we’re going to have. It’s a tribute to them because they stuck together all year.”

Four Pima players scored in double figures Thursday. Morrison scored 19 points and collected 11 rebounds.

“I wanted to make sure I came out and played good like I know how to play,” Morrison said.

Azya Peoples (Flowing Wells High School) and LeAndra Lucas finished with 11 points each, with Lucas adding 13 rebounds. Abyee Maracigan (Flowing Wells) added 10 points.

“We said this is where we wanted to be,” Maracigan said. “We said we wanted to go to nationals, but I never thought it would be this quick. It’s amazing.”

Pima led from start to finish. Morrison scored the first eight points before getting into foul trouble. Her teammates dominated while she sat on the bench.

“Words can’t describe how happy I am for us,” Peoples said. “I knew we had potential, but I wasn’t sure we would follow through with our plan. But we did all the way.”

Aztecs beat Glendale, head to national tournament for first time

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