PRESCOTT VALLEY – No. 6-seeded Salome pounded No. 11 seed Glendale Joy Christian five weeks ago by 22 points on Joy Christian’s home floor, but in Saturday night’s Division IV girls state basketball tournament it looked for a while that the tables would turn completely.
Salome managed to battle back from a six-point second-half deficit and again overtook cold-shooting Joy Christian 51-42 at Tim’s Toyota Center to advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals to take on No. 3 Duncan, a 66-44 winner over Phoenix Chrisitan, at noon at Tim’s Toyota Center.
“We just went cold and couldn’t get a shot,” Joy Christian coach Bill Gollihaire said of his squad’s inability to hold onto the lead.
Joy Christian’s Mariah Kempf led all scorers with 27 points before fouling out in the game’s final minute. Teammate Victoria Morin scored 11.
Ashley Farwell paced Salome’s balanced attack with 14 points followed by Kendra Manuel’s 13 and Raynie Maynes’ 12.
Mayne’s 3-point shot lifted Salome (24-6) to a 24-21 lead early in the third quarter, but Kempf scored five points and Morin four during a 9-0 lead to lift Joy Christian to a 30-24 lead with four minutes and nine seconds to play in the third.
The bottom soon dropped out for Joy Christian (22-7).
“We quit running our offense and we couldn’t get it to the big men down low,” Gollihaire said.
Salome battled back to take a 35-34 lead at the end of three.
Sabina Cruz, Manuel scored quickly from in close to open the fourth and Farwell’s 3 opened a 42-35 Salome that it extended to 46-37 before Kempf buried a 3.
Morin hit a pair of free throws to cut to 46-42 but that was as close as Joy Christian would get. Kempf fouled out and Manuel went to work, hitting from inside and a pair of free throws to ice the game.