Pima Aztecs balling since break

By Monty Gantt

On Feb. 9, the Pima Community College Men’s Basketball Team capitalized on a fast start to win its contest against the Tohono O’odham Community College Jegos 102-72.

The Aztecs held the Jegos scoreless for 7 minutes, later taking a 51-33 lead at half- time. Sophomore Abram Carrasco led the team with 23 points and 6 assists. Sopho- mores Kennedy Koehler (20 points and 12 rebounds) and Robert Wilson (13 points and 10 rebounds) achieved their 15th and 12th double-doubles, respectively. Sophomore Jordan Robinson returned from a two-game absence with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

On Feb. 6, the 11th-ranked Aztecs defeated the 15th- ranked Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes by a final score of 91-65.

The win gave the Fighting Artichokes their first home loss of the season. The Aztecs had their halftime lead of 48-33 cut down to 49-42 after a 9-1 run for the Artichokes. The Aztecs then responded with a 21-2 run in 9 minutes to give them a 70-44 lead. The Aztecs were led by Abram Carrasco’s 26 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Fresh- man Rashad Smith (9 points and 8 rebounds) and Deon- dre Eason (12 points off the bench) also came up big for the Aztecs.

On Feb. 2, The 12th ranked Aztecs defeated the Central Arizona College Vaqueros by a final score of 94-75 to earn their 14th win in their last 16 games.

The Aztecs led the entire game and secured a 50-28 halftime lead after outscoring the Vaqueros 22-11 in the final 9 minutes. The Aztecs were led by Abram Carrasco (34 points on 13 for 19 shooting) and Kennedy Koehler’s (21 points and 10 rebounds) stellar performances. Also perform- ing well for the Aztecs was Freshman Rashad Smith (11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 as- sists).

The basketball team improved its record t o 17-5 after a hard-fought home win in a Jan. 30 matchup against the Arizona Western College Matadors 100-95.

Trailing 46-44 at the half, the Aztecs began the second half with a 17-9 run to take a lead of 61-55.

With four minutes left in the game, the Aztecs went on a dominant 10-1 run to take
a 97-85 lead. The Matadors, however, went on an 8-0 run to cut the Aztec lead to 97-93.

A defensive rebound by freshman guard Cole Gerken and free throws by sophomore guard Abram Carrasco sealed the win for Pima.

The game was an intense one, filled with trash-talk and resulted in four technical fouls and aggressive play on both sides of the ball.

Photo courtesy Stephanie Van Latum
Photo courtesy Ben Carbajal Kennedy Koehler pulls up for 3 in a win against Central Arizona (bottom photo), while Davonte Eason drives to the hoop in a win against Tohono O’odham Community College (top photo).

The contest also featured 12 ties and 20 lead changes.

“We all just trusted each other, to be honest,” said forward Robert Wilson. “A couple of guys got in foul trouble early and it was just next guy up.”

Wilson had 23 points on 6 of 10 shooting (4 of 5 from the three-point line) to go along with 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

On Dec. 2, the Aztecs lost a heartbreaker to Arizona Western after letting go of a 21-point lead. This time around, the Aztecs were de- termined not to let the same thing happen again.

“We just played all 40 minutes tonight,” Carrasco said after his 25-point, 9 rebound, 6 assist performance. “We all rebounded and helped and played big tonight.”

The theme of rebounding seemed to be echoed by Aztecs’ head coach Brian Peabody.

“I mean, that’s the key for us if we’re going to win games and go far,” he said. “Guy’s have got to rebound.”

Also coming up big for the Aztecs were sophomores Da- vonte Eason (19 points, 7-for- 9 shooting), Kennedy Koehler (14 points, 8 rebounds) and Jordan Robinson (10 points).

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