FLAGSTAFF – For Gilbert Christian (20-12) the third time was the charm, as the No. 23 seed upset No. 7 seed Chandler Valley Christian 40-38 Saturday in the second round of the Division III girls basketball state tournament at the Walkup Skydome at Northern Arizona University.
Gilbert Christian won the battle of the streaks, streaking last when it counted. They had lost the two previous times the teams squared off and Gilbert Christian leading scorer Colleen Young (10 points) was determined to not let it happen again.
“After losing to them twice we weren’t to going let it happen again,” said Young. “We just kept plugging away and didn’t give up.”
Gilbert Christian’s first streak put them up 6-0 to start the game before Valley Christian (27-4) came right back on a 11-1 run to lead 11-7 going into the second quarter.
Then Gilbert Christian went on a 5-0 run to start the second quarter and found a 12-11 lead with 5:18 to go on Young’s jump shot. But Valley Chrisitan found its streak again, and tied the game at 21 at the half on Tana Kemmer’s buzzer-beater.
Now it was freshman Mara Kemmer’s turn to get hot, scoring seven points and helping Valley Christian take a 36-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Gilbert Christian’s last streak was its best, outscoring Valley Christian 11-2 to close out the game. Cassidy Curtner scored the game-winner with 10 seconds to go in the game.
“We knew we had to take better care of the ball in the final quarter if we were to win, and take better shots,” Curtner said. “That last shot was a close one. I didn’t think it was going in.”
Valley Christian’s Tana Kemmer led all players in scoring with 16 points, while sister Mara finished with eight.