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Sectionals loss hands girls hoops tough state draw
Written by George Werner   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 16:32

If the Camp Verde High School girls basketball team finds itself Saturday, March 1, playing for a state championship, the Cowboys can credit a tournament road that showed no mercy.


That journey begins Wednesday, Feb. 19, with a 360-mile-plus road trip for their first round game at Alchesay High School in Whiteriver, on the Fort Apache reservation.

Head coach Leeann Lacapa’s Falcons [19-9] were the last Division III seed to be awarded a home state playoff game, as the Cowboys [20-9] could not make it out of the first round of their sectional tournament Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Washington High School in Phoenix, falling 51-30 to Fountain Hills High School.

“The key to winning the sectional championship is shutting down both Fountain Hills and Valley Christian’s high-powered offenses,” said girls basketball head coach Mark Showers. “We don’t match up well with them because of their 6-foot 3-inch post player and their 6-foot guard.”

The loss dropped CVHS to a No. 17 seed, just behind Alchesay for the final opening round
home game.

“We have been more consistent offensively and that will have to continue in the playoffs for us to be successful,” Showers said.

If the Cowboys can survive that road test, their travels and tests would continue with a second-round matchup against the top overall seed in Division III, sectional rival Valley Christian High School — which defeated Fountain Hills by nine points Saturday, Feb. 15, to win the sectional tournament championship.

The Trojans defeated the Cowboys at CVHS 59-32 in their only matchup this season.

The Cowboys are led offensively by junior post Mariah Daniels, who is averaging nearly a double-double in points and rebounds since beginning sectional play in January.

“Obviously, Mariah Daniels has become the cornerstone of our offense,” Showers said.

The Cowboys have experience at guard with senior point Magali Lopez and speed with juniors Rayana Chatter and Kayla Sandoval along with sophomore Gabby Ontiveros, who leads the team in steals.

Senior Maddy Showers adds deep shooting from the wing to give the Cowboys a legitimate postseason perimeter threat.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Feb. 19, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.


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