Fountain Hills boys win thriller against Chinle

Fountain Hills boys win thriller against Chinle

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Fountain Hills boys win thriller against Chinle

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— Fountain Hills guards Daniel Fifield and Matt Fisher took turns beating Chinle’s defense in transition all game Friday.

It was Fifield’s turn at the end, as he hit a 5-footer in the lane with a second left in overtime, giving No. 21-seeded Fountain Hills a 74-73 victory over the fifth-seeded Chinle in the second round of the Division III state tournament at Northern Arizona’s Walkup Skydome.

Fountain Hills (12-16) advances to Monday’s quarterfinals at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley against the winner between Morenci and Snowflake.

Fifield had to tune out the large pro-Chinle crowd, as Chinle rallied from a 15-point deficit in the final quarter with full-court traps.

“I have to take my hat off to Fish; he gave me the assist,” said Fifield, who finished with 28 points.

Fisher had 27 points, including the layup to beat a trap with 18 seconds to play in OT that gave Fountain Hills a 72-71 lead.

Wyatt Tuni scored on a drive with seven seconds left, giving Chinle a 73-72 lead.

Fountain Hills was out of timeouts as it raced down court, with Fisher able to find Fifield for the game winner.

Fountain Hills finally got rattled by Chinle’s full-court traps after taking a 54-39 lead entering the final quarter.

A rash of turnovers led to a 16-2 Chinle run in the fourth quarter. Chinle led 66-64 with 16 seconds left in regulation on Kevin Yazzie’s free throws.

Fisher tied the game at 66 with two free throws with five seconds to play.

After a timeout, Yazzie drove the length of the court and missed a drive in traffic as the horn sounded.

“We said it to them at the beginning of the fourth quarter, ‘This is not over; they’re going to make a run,’” Fountain Hills coach Matt Johnson said. “It was a really substantial run. The guys just showed resilience.”

With top player Yazzie struggling, Searl Tracy scored 29 points to lead Chinle.

Chinle (19-6) missed three layups and had two turnovers in the final two minutes of the four-minute overtime period.

Chinle’s traps resulted in steals, but, in the end, Fountain Hills had too many points close to the basket.

“We kept telling them, even at the end, ‘Stay in front, stay in front,’ and we didn’t do it,” Chinle coach Steve Troglia said.

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