Thunderbird exacts revenge with blowout of Greenway

Thunderbird exacts revenge with blowout of Greenway

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Thunderbird exacts revenge with blowout of Greenway

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Last week when Phoenix Thunderbird hosted rival Phoenix Greenway in a Division II girls basketball game, Thunderbird opened a double-digit lead, blew it and lost by six.

Friday at Greenway, history did not repeat itself, and Thunderbird ran away with a 57-30 victory.

Thunderbird leapt out to a 21-3 lead after one quarter, as Greenway had significant trouble breaking a three-quarters-court press.

“They had a tremendous press on it, and we couldn’t break it,” Greenway coach Jay Montoya said. “We tried everything. We had some inexperienced guards in there, and they took full advantage as they should.”

“Last time in the first half, our press, we did a good job,” added Thunderbird coach Barry Ringel. “The second half we kind of didn’t do a good job on the press. We didn’t dedicate ourselves to it. Tonight, we did and we kept it on until we felt that we didn’t need it anymore.”

That point came towards the end of the third quarter, as Thunderbird’s lead approached 20. Thunderbird might have needed even less if not for a string of unforced errors in the second quarter and a Greenway resurgence to start the second half.

In the second quarter, Thunderbird was whistled for five fouls and committed seven turnovers, including five in a row in the middle of the quarter. Five of those seven turnovers were traveling violations.

That allowed Greenway to get its offense unclogged to score 15 points – half its final total – in the quarter.

“The unforced turnovers drive a coach crazy,” Ringel said. “Because we had a possession, and then all of the sudden you don’t.”

Greenway cut the lead to single digits early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Johnna Landry. But Thunderbird finished the period on a 12-4 run to lead 44-27.

“We want to be competitive and we hate losing,” Montoya said. “That’s it. Even though we’re down, those kids have a lot of heart and a lot of soul.”

Thunderbird sophomore Ann Shikles scored a game-high 11 points, and Jessica Franco and Madison Wichmann added 10 each. Point guard Ozahria Fisher scored nine points and was consistently creating shots for teammates.

Greenway’s Bleta Kodra scored 11 points.

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