Women’s basketball rebounds after opening loss

Photo and Story by ARMANDO HARMON

The  Pima Community College women’s basketball team is coming into the season looking to dominate.

Last season, the Aztecs ended with an overall record of 23-8 and 16-6 in conference play. The Aztecs averaged 81.7 points per game with shooting 40.8 percent from the field.

The Aztecs fell short in the Region I, Division II championship game against Mesa Community College with a score of 74-72.

“It’s good for the players to have that motivation and the goal is that national championship,” coach Todd Holthaus said. “When you get that close, you focus a lot more.”

The program had its sixth 20-plus win season in Holthaus’ 11 seasons leading the Aztecs.

“I never try to make it about me,” Holthaus said. “I’ve had great players, and any coach can look good if you have great players.”

The team has many new additions, such as Briana Gamilio, a post player from Walden Grove High School; forward Quinnesha “Q” Mitchell from Marana High School; Macey Rose, a forward from Basha High School; Crystal Haase, a guard from Safford High School; and RyLeigh Long, a guard from California.

Katey Roquemore, a sophomore guard majoring in general studies, is one returning player who is expected to lead the team to success with her leadership.

Roquemore, a native from Nevada, had a made field goal percentage of 62.5 last season.

“This year gives us a lot more energy and willingness to work hard, so we can get further from where we were last year,” Roquemore said.

Nov. 14: No.6 PCC 84, Glendale Community College 59

On Nov 14 the Pima Community College women’s basketball team (2-1, 1-0 in ACCAC) begun conference play on their home opener as they hosted Glendale Community College.

The No. 6 Aztecs got broke away in the second quarter and made a statement to finish off the Gauchos 84-59.

In the second quarter the Aztecs were down 25-15, Pima finished the half with a demanding run of 17-2 to take a 36-27 lead at halftime. The Gauchos opened the third quarter with a three-pointer but the Aztecs held them to six points for the rest of the quarter.The Aztecs outscored Glendale 27-9 in the third to head in the fourth leading 63-36.

Freshmen Shauna Bribiescas led the Aztecs with 19 points. Sophomore Christine Ortega dropped nine of her 11 points in the second half. Off the bench sophomore Alliyah Bryant hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.

Nov 11: No.6 PCC 66, Howard College 56 

PCC would bounce back from their tough loss in the opening game in the classic.

The Aztecs would bring it together on Day Two and beat Howard College 66-55. The Aztecs would outscore the Hawks 20-11 in the second quarter to have momentum going into the second half.

Freshmen Jacqulynn Nakai scored a game-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists. Sophomore Izzy Spruit went five for nine from the arc and finished with 17 points behind.

Sophomore Aubre Fortner almost had a double-double with six points and eight rebounds.

Nov. 10 No.6 PCC 43, New Mexico Junior College 77

Pima Community College lost game one of the classic after New Mexico Junior College pounded the Aztecs 77-43. Nakai finished the game with a team-high 13 points and four rebounds.

The Aztecs struggled from shooting beyond the arc. The team made four out of the 39 shots taken from the three-point line.

“We play bigger and better Division I teams to prepare ourselves for our conference,” Holthaus said. “We have a lot of new faces that need to be exposed to tough competition. It was a good weekend for us to start the season.”

Pima Community College women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus rallies the team before its first game.

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