Cactus Shadows bests Notre Dame

In the fourth quarter, it wasn’t the home team, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, that was yelling “This is our house.” Instead, it was visiting Cave Creek Cactus Shadows fans chanting the phrase while their team got their first playoff win in almost half a dozen years, winning 58-44 in the Division II tournament on Thursday.

“It hasn’t happened for our school in a while, and I told them that,” Cactus Shadows coach Jamaal Scott said. “They all knew what the situation was, and they came out and they stayed together.”

Though the final score may indicate a blowout, the first three quarters could not have been much closer as neither team trailed by more than three at the end of each period. In the fourth quarter, however, Cactus Shadows was able to pull away behind the strong efforts of seniors Mike Rabbani and CJ Davis.

Rabbani and Davis finished the game with 15 points and seven rebounds each, and the two combined for 16 points in the fourth quarter to seal the game.

“We played some awesome defense tonight, and it helped us win the game,” Rabbani said. “I knew I had to hold us on offense and I have the confidence and we all as a team pulled through and won the game against our rival.”

For Notre Dame, it was a disappointing loss as it ends its season 17-11. While it got contributions from all the way down the bench, no one was able to score double digits on the night. Senior forward Grant Martinez pulled down seven boards but was unavailable for much of the fourth quarter due to foul trouble.

Notre Dame coach Chris Stark said his team played well but it didn’t seem like the ball bounced its way at the end.

“We got a little loose with the ball, and they went on a little run and we just couldn’t buy a bucket at the end,” Stark said.

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