During the fourth quarter of the Division II girls basketball state semifinal game on Friday, Maricopa fans — in a rambunctious sea of red and black — started an unusual chant: “You don’t know us.”
That was probably true in seasons past, but it’s hard to ignore Maricopa now.
The No. 12 seed pulled away late in the fourth quarter Friday and went on to defeat No. 9 Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge, 59-50, to capture its third upset of the tournament and punch its ticket to the state final game for the first time in school history at Grand Canyon University Arena.
Maricopa will take on defending champion No. 2 Chandler Seton Catholic on Monday in the Division II championship game at Gila River Arena.
“People haven’t really seen what we can do,” Maricopa coach Kati Burrows said. “I think now we’re showing people what we can do.”
Things stayed tight throughout most of the first half with Maricopa taking a one-point lead into the locker room. Senior Tiara Edmond said her team knew it was anybody’s game at that point.
“Basically it was 0-0 at the half,” she said. “Whoever wants it more is going to get it, so we had to go out there and work hard.”
Edmond finished the game with nine points, scoring most of those in the second half and helping her team pull away. She was also an important part of the defense, collecting six rebounds.
“She’s had that fire and I can tell when she’s ready to go,” Burrows said of her senior leader. “In that second half, I saw that. She did not want this to end.”
Danae Ruiz was Maricopa’s leading scorer Friday, finishing with 13 points. Raegene Womack had 12 points.
Ironwood Ridge kept things close in the second half, climbing within two points early in the fourth quarter but Maricopa ignited an 18-6 run after that and created a cushion that would carry the team to victory.
Seton Catholic has defeated Maricopa twice already this season, including a 55-45 win in the section championship game on Feb. 14. The earlier losses only fueled the fire for Maricopa, Edmond said.
Now, the players are looking for one more upset.
“One more,” Edmond said. “We can’t stop now.”
Dobson fans celebrate their 58-49 win over Millennium in their Division I girls basketball championship game Monday, March 2, 2015 in Glendale.