Duncan secures spot in girls hoops semifinals

Duncan secures spot in girls hoops semifinals

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Duncan secures spot in girls hoops semifinals

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Duncan found itself in familiar territory Thursday, back in the Division IV quarterfinal round of the girls basketball playoffs at Tim’s Toyota Center, but it still took the No. 3 seed a little while to find its footing.

“I think nerves had a lot to do with the first quarter” Duncan senior Kylee Jones said.

But after an unsteady first quarter, experience took over and Duncan took off, building a 10-point lead by halftime and eventually defeating No. 6 Salome 49-31.

Duncan will face defending Division IV champion Tempe Prep in the semifinals on Friday. Tempe Prep defeated Duncan in last year’s quarterfinals.

“We didn’t rebound in the first period like we should have,” Duncan coach Brandy Stacy said. “But overall, it was a good game — everybody played solid and worked hard.”

Jones led the offense with 18 points on Thursday. She said a year of experience has made a world of difference for her team.

“We’re a really close team so as soon as one of us catches fire, things start clicking,” she said.

An 8-0 run at the start of the second quarter helped Duncan to a 24-14 lead by halftime and the No. 3 seed came out in the second half and outscored Salome 27-17 in the final two quarters to secure the victory.

Stacy said this year’s squad, consisting of six seniors, has developed a close friendship that’s been crucial to Duncan’s success.

“They play so well together,” she said. “These girls truly care for each other and they all want each other to do well.”

Monique Montoya had 10 points for Duncan in Thursday’s contest and Chelsea Stacy had seven.

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