By STEVE CHOICE
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team came up one game short in its bid to make the NJCAA national tournament, falling 58-45 at Mesa Community College on March 7.
PCC gave itself the opportunity to advance to nationals with a first-round playoff victory over South Mountain Community College at home on March 5.
Pima finished the year at 17-15, including 12-9 in the ACCAC.
The Aztecs bolted to an 18-5 lead against Mesa, but the Thunderbirds used a 20-2 run to take a 25-22 advantage into halftime.
PCC cut Mesa’s lead to nine points twice in the second half, but could get no closer.
“It just wasn’t our best game,” freshman guard Rachel Williams said. “Our shots weren’t falling. We got off to a great start, but after that we just weren’t clicking.”
Freshman guard Felicia Foster led Pima with 13 points. Sophomore center A’jha Edwards finished with six points and 19 rebounds.
Despite the playoff loss, Williams was upbeat about the team’s accomplishments.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better season,” she said. “After starting 2-7, nobody thought we’d be here.
“These girls are like my sisters now, and I can’t wait until next year.”
Pima will have to replace some significant pieces from this year’s squad, including Edwards, who was named ACCAC Division II Player of the Year on Feb. 23.
The center from Sierra Vista averaged 13.8 points per game, along with 13.6 rebounds per contest.
Guard D.J. Davis is another key cog who will be departing. Davis averaged 10.6 points, and was the team’s deadliest outside threat.
Other sophomores who closed out their Pima careers are guards Alyssa Roche and Ashleigh Scott and forwards Mya Perrow-Donovan and Kellie Miller.