Tucson High School Sports

No. 10-ranked Tucson falls to No. 12-ranked Maricopa, ending region title hopes

Tucson High freshman guard Quinton Ragland goes in for the layup. (All Sports Tucson)

No. 10-ranked Tucson High struggled against No. 12-ranked Maricopa, losing 70-62 on Tuesday night in a 6A Desert Southwest matchup with a potential regional title on the line for both teams.

The length of Maricopa, which helped force Tucson High into 10 first-half turnovers, gave the undersized Badgers trouble all night.

“We were short-arming shots. We weren’t using ball fakes that were taught in practice,” Tucson High head coach Eric Langford said. “You know, we worked on ball fakes and moving without the ball, and I think their length did give us some problems in the first half.”

The Badgers clawed back from a 16-point deficit with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter to get within six points with under three minutes remaining in the game but were unable to get any closer.

“We turned up our defense,” Langford said. “Then we started sharing the ball. We started using our ball fakes when we were getting near their length, but one thing we didn’t do for a while was ball pressure. We just let them be comfortable.

“When we let teams be comfortable, it’s hard for us.”

Maricopa’s Kevin Patton Jr. scored seven of the Rams’ first 15 points to help give the Rams a 15-4 lead with 3:34 remaining in the first quarter.

Tucson High was down 22-13 to begin the second quarter. A 3-pointer from senior guard Adam Gonzalez with 6:05 remaining in the first half, and six straight points later in the quarter from freshman guard Quinton Ragland helped spark the Badgers, who went into halftime down 35-29. 

Maricopa (14-3, 4-0) now sits in first place in the 6A Desert Southwest standings as Tucson (13-4, 2-2) slides to third place with two games remaining in the regular season for the Badgers.

“When the ball gets stuck, we’re not a good team,” Langford said. “When we move the ball, cut and do roll-arounds, we’re fine, but we don’t share the ball enough. So that will be the message in the locker room, plus ball pressure.”

Gonzalez finished with 19 points.

Senior forward Matias Kroese finished with 12 points.

Tucson High plays next on Wednesday on the road against Brophy Prep at 7 p.m.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. He is currently attending Pima Community College where he writes for the Aztec Press. Next semester he will be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he will work towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.

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