Catalina Foothills beats Ironwood Ridge in OT to claim Dick McConnell Thanksgiving Classic title

Catalina Foothills is 3-0 after winning the Dick McConnell Thanksgiving Invitational on Saturday (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Catalina Foothills coach Doug D’Amore acknowledges his team has much room for improvement only three games into the season, but at least the Falcons have a 3-0 start while he works out the kinks.

The Falcons claimed the Dick McConnell Thanksgiving Classic title by defeating Ironwood Ridge 66-59 in overtime, capping a three-game stretch in which D’Amore’s team pulled out wins of seven points or less at Pima West Gym.

“For us to compete, that’s all we’re really looking at right now,” D’Amore said. “The organization and communication, we’re not there yet, but I’m just seeing are we competing at a good level and we did tonight.”

D’Amore’s reference to organization includes not having one of his best players — sophomore 6-foot-4 guard/forward Jack Egginton — with the team the last two weeks because he was in his native Australia for two weeks getting his visa renewed.

Egginton moved to Tucson last year because his father earned a position at the mines in Patagonia.

The younger Egginton scored 20 points, including a couple of baskets in overtime, to lead Catalina Foothills despite arriving back from Australia at 6 a.m.

“I’m on three hours of sleep right now,” said Egginton, who is from Townsville, Queensland. “I just came out and gave it my all kind of thing. Honestly, I’m tired but so is someone else at some point. It’s just about finding it inside and work harder.”

Egginton and senior guard Cole Pinckney fueled a 16-0 run to end the first half after Ironwood Ridge built a 20-12 lead.

The defense affected Ironwood Ridge, which committed numerous turnovers during that stretch leading to Pinckney feeding his teammates the ball for layups.

Egginton had six points during the rally to give the Falcons a 28-20 lead at halftime.

“We realized we started slow; we called a timeout to pick it up,” said Pinckney, whose brother Ben was part of the 2020-21 state title team and twin brother Quinn is in the same backcourt with him now.

“All the guards, all the bigs, we did our thing. We got the lead back; that’s all that matters.”

Ironwood Ridge had a rally of its own thanks to senior guard Andrew Cain after trailing 41-33.

Cain, an Arizona baseball signee, scored the first eight points of an 11-0 run to put the Nighthawks back ahead 44-41 with 7:46 remaining.

Neither team took more than a three-point lead the rest of regulation.

Cain, whose father Tad is in his first season as the Nighthawks’ coach, finished with 18 points.

A transition basket by Catalina Foothills’ A.B. Mendoza after an Ironwood Ridge turnover with 20 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 55.

The Nighthawks’ 3-point attempt was off the mark as time expired.

Catalina Foothills’ game-clinching 9-2 run in overtime include two short-range baskets by Egginton off two Ironwood Ridge turnovers.

“He makes the game really simple,” D’Amore said of Egginton. “Having him is a huge component that has been missing. Again, he’s been gone for a few weeks so trying to get in the flow of playing with him, we were out of sync.

“We were definitely not doing what we need to do, but we’ll get there. It’s going to take some time.”

Catalina Foothills (3-0) next hosts Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep on Monday night while Ironwood Ridge (2-1) hosts Waddell Canyon View on Wednesday night.


Desert View 63, Empire 52
Sabino 79, Sahuarita 76
Tanque Verde 71, Coronado 67
Ironwood Ridge 66, Flowing Wells 35.
Sunnyside 58, Mica Mountain 57
Catalina Foothills 53, Sahuaro 47
Cholla 64, Palo Verde 27

Sahuaro 68, Palo Verde 45
Mica Mountain 60, Flowing Wells 43
Catalina Foothills 52, Cholla 45
Ironwood Ridge 68, Sunnyside 57
Tanque Verde 69, Sahuarita 45
Sabino 65, Desert View 51
Coronado 61, Empire 25


Sahuarita 57, Empire 51
Tanque Verde 74, Desert View 44
Coronado 78, Sabino 67

Flowing Wells 56, Palo Verde 51

Sahuaro 72, Mica Mountain 44

Cholla 57, Sunnyside 44

Catalina Foothills 66, Ironwood Ridge 59 (OT)


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top