GLENDALE — Phoenix Paradise Valley is headed to the Division II state championship game after defeating Phoenix Sunnyslope 63-48 Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
No. 4 seed Paradise Valley will face Tucson Salpointe Catholic on Saturday at noon at Jobing.com Arena.
Top-seeded Sunnyslope was cold from the floor in the first quarter while falling behind 15-3, a deficit that proved too much.
Seniors Ryan Finley and Paul Watson led the way for Paradise Valley, as the duo combined for 22 points in the first half.
Watson finished with 23 points and Finley 20, and both received a standing ovation after being subbed out near the end of the game.
“They’re our two go-to guys all year, and they’re both great players,” Paradise Valley coach Mark MacGowan said. “They have a little more freedom than some of the other kids for the 3-point shot or to take it to the basket.”
For Sunnyslope, it’s a disappointing end to a great 2012-13 campaign.
With their leading scorer, senior Isaiah Cota, unable to produce for much of the game, junior point guard Navareio Holmes took on the burden and shot the lights out, finishing with 19 points.
After dealing with an injury to lead guard Brandon Williams early in the year, Paradise Valley has been back at full strength and playing their best basketball at the right time.
“We had some bumps in the road in early January, but I kept telling the kids our goal is to be playing our best basketball in February.” MacGowan said. “I think we’re doing that right now.”