The No. 12 Pima women’s basketball team fired off on all cylinders in a 89-54 win against Chandler-Gilbert Community College at the West Gym on Wednesday night.
The Aztecs (16-7) held firm control of the Coyotes for the entirety of the game, outscoring them 42-19 in the first half and 47-33 in the second. Pima also outrebounded Chandler-Gilbert 50-35.
“I think that the most important thing that we did was we played hard,” Pima coach Todd Holthaus said. “We played hard from the tip, all the way to the end. It didn’t matter if it was the starters, the reserves or the person last in. Everybody played their butts off and that’s one thing I can appreciate.”
The win pushes Pima’s winning streak to four games, all of which the Aztecs have blown out their opponents by an average score of 83-54.
“I think we’re getting comfortable with what our strengths are,” Holthaus said. “We’ve got good inside presence with Nikya (Orange, Tanque Verde graduate), Jas (Jaslyn Booker, Buena) and Keke (Keara Felix). If we get it inside, we can use the paint to our advantage which frees up our shooters to be able to shoot good shots.”
Before Pima’s winning streak, it went on a tough four-game losing streak. Pima’s skid consisted of all Division I opponents.
“Prior to the winning streak, we had lost four in a row,” Holthaus said. “We played tough teams, Division I teams. But I think the difference is just learning to still play hard, do what you’re supposed to do. When we start playing teams that are Division II like us, then it starts paying off.”
Leading the Aztecs in scoring were Angel Addlemann (Palo Verde) and Orange with 11 points apiece.
Orange had seven rebounds and two blocks. Addleman also added three rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Three other players scored in double figures.
Freshmen Priscila Varela, Luisayde Chavez (Rio Rico) and sophomore Melissa Simmons all scored 10 points. Chavez also had eight rebounds and three assists.
Valera came off of the bench and added two blocks with her points scored. Simmons also finished with three assists and one block.
The Aztecs took control of the game from the start. Chandler-Gilbert failed to lead for the entirety of the night. The closest they got was 7-2 with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Pima grew its lead to 35-13 in the second quarter with 3:35 left. The Aztecs ended the first half with a comfortable 42-19 advantage. Pima shot 51.4 percent from the field.
The Aztecs’ biggest lead came in the third quarter. They went up 65-30 following a put back shot by Torrance Begay with 3:38 left in the third quarter.
Pima will be back at the West Gym to play Scottsdale Community College on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 5 but had to be rescheduled because of COVID-19 protocol.
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Nathaniel Martinez is an aspiring sports journalist who is a Sahuaro High School graduate and Pima Community College student. He has written for the Aztec Press at Pima. While at Sahuaro, he played football for longtime coach Scott McKee and he wrestled for the Cougars.