Story by ERIC TOWNSEND
Photos by LEFTRICK HERD
Winning has become the norm for the Pima Community College women’s basketball team. They’ve reeled off a 16-4 record and won 10 of their last 12 games.
The Aztecs currently sit in first place in their division at 10-2 within the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) with only a few weeks to play.
“Our main goal is Nationals,” freshman guard Nadi Carey said. “Regionals are great, but that’s small compared to going to Nationals. We want the whole enchilada.”
The Aztecs hope to end the season well, wrapping up the No. 1 seed and securing home court advantage throughout the Regional playoffs.
Pima got a leg up on Mesa Community College, the Aztecs’ main competition for home court, on Dec. 11 at Mesa when Pima beat the then-No. 7 Thunderbirds 65-61.
“The magic number is nine,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “To get the No. 1 seed, it’s going to take a combination of us winning and Mesa losing.”
On Dec. 28, the Aztecs beat their second top 10 team in a row, when they upset then-No. 5 Parkland (Ill.) College 72-61 at home.
Pima put itself one step closer to winning the conference after blowing out Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Jan. 22. The Aztecs got a slew of points, scoring 118, and held CGCC to 54.
ACCAC player of the week Carey paced the Aztecs to the victory, recording a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Sophomore forward Deanna Daniels recorded her 16th double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 24 points and 17 rebounds.
“Deanna has been huge for us this year,” Holthaus said. “But it hasn’t just been her. Everyone has really been playing well, and has been contributing.”
A lot of the good basketball can be attributed to maturity, Holthaus said.
“The maturation of this team been very important, just seeing the freshmen getting better and really developing,” Holthaus said.
If the Aztecs want to continue strong play, a lot will come down to execution, Holthaus said.
“We’ve got a lot of games to play and we just got to stay focused,” he said.
The Aztecs have 10 games left to hold onto their lead and qualify for Nationals.
“We’re just going to try and execute right,” Carey said. “We got to knuckle down and play good defense. We want to go to Nationals.”