Chandler Hamilton girls basketball advances with victory over Avondale Westview

Chandler Hamilton girls basketball advances with victory over Avondale Westview

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Chandler Hamilton girls basketball advances with victory over Avondale Westview

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Chandler Hamilton’s strong defensive front derailed Avondale Westview’s offense in the first half of Monday’s Division I girls basketball quarterfinal contest.

And although the No. 5 seed’s second half performance wasn’t quite as dominating, the combined effort was more than enough for a 48-29 victory over No. 4 Westview at Arizona State’s Wells Fargo Arena.

Hamilton moves on to the semifinal round where it will face defending champion Phoenix St. Mary’s at 6 p.m. Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in what will be a rematch of last year’s Division I title game.

Hamilton controlled the game Monday from the outset, jumping to a 28-13 lead by halftime. The defense managed to nearly shut out Westview in the first quarter, holding its opponent to just three points.

“Confidence-wise, for us to come out and get a lead really helps us,” Hamilton coach Jeff Kain said. “To put that doubt in (Westview’s) mind and kind of make them think about it really helps.”

Westview finally found its rhythm offensively in the third quarter and climbed within six points at the start of the fourth where Hamilton led 34-28 with 7:35 remaining.

“I think came out a little too slow in the third quarter,” Hamilton’s Kyndall Adams said. “Once they started hitting a few shots and coming back we said, ‘We need to get it together and play together on defense so we can stop them from getting to the hoop.’”

The defense did just that and managed to halt Westview’s comeback as Hamilton cruised to victory after that.

Aliyah Dickson had 12 points for Hamilton and Adams was the leading scorer Monday with 16 points.

“She’s been a great leader for us all year,” Kain said about Adams. “One game she’ll go out and get us 10 points, the next game 10 rebounds.”

Admittance to the final four for the second year in row is nice, but Kain understands that Thursday’s semifinal game against the winner of Monday’s late quarterfinal between Chandler and top-seeded Phoenix St. Mary’s will be the last big test. The No. 1 seed defeated Hamilton 57-39 earlier this season and remains unbeaten against Arizona schools.

Chandler and Hamilton split two close games this season.

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