Scottsdale Saguaro had to stop the physical bleeding before it could halt the metaphorical version.
It accomplished the first, as junior guard and leading scorer Casey Rarrick finally got her platelets to cooperate after suffering a bloody nose, but the carnage kept flowing on the scoreboard as Phoenix Arcadia scored a 63-46 home win in both team’s regular-season finale Friday.
Saguaro (19-9) was already short-handed. Sophomore point guard Jelani Huma missed her second straight game to participate in a national cross country competition in St. Louis. Then Carrick went out for an extended period, and fellow junior Naomi Reyes followed after suffering a brief asthma attack.
Those three comprise Saguaro’s top three scorers, and none were on the court for an important stretch in the first half.
“We took advantage of that,” Arcadia sophomore Andrea Goulette said. “It wasn’t easy, but once we saw that (Rarrick) was out, then we started pressing.”
When Rarrick went out, Arcadia (24-5) led 13-7. By the time she returned with about five minutes left in the second quarter, Arcadia was up 24-11 and entered the locker room with a 40-14 lead.
“It just all kind of snowballed,” Saguaro coach Chris Young said. “It was a frustrating night for us.”
Arcadia owned its short-handed opponent on the boards in the first half, pulling in 15 to Saguaro’s eight. Arcadia had eight rebounds on the offensive end alone.
Saguaro finally got its act together in the fourth quarter, which it entered down 54-25. Arcadia, playing with a mix of starters and reserves, fouled carelessly, and Saguaro cut the lead to 13 with about three minutes left.
But it turned out to be too little, too late.
“They just didn’t get off the bus tonight, for whatever reason,” Young said.
Arcadia’s reward for the win is likely avoiding a first-round date with reigning Division II champion Chandler Seton Catholic at the Division II, Section III tournament. Arcadia entered the game fifth in the section, but will likely overtake Saguaro (third).
Rarrick led all scorers with 29 points, including 25 in the second half. For Arcadia, Goulette had 16, senior Kylie Herd had 12 and junior Tori Wright added 10.