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SOFTBALL: Aztecs looking for consistency during season start

SOFTBALL: Aztecs looking for consistency during season start

By CASEY MUSE JR

The Pima Community College softball team eased into the season with some key wins at the beginning of conference play. The Aztecs are striving for consistency in their pitching as well as trying to keep their bats healthy.

Jan. 31: PCC 0, Arizona Western 6 / PCC 5, Arizona Western 4

The Aztecs were able to split in their conference opener on the road against Arizona Western College.

Pima was shutout in the first game as the team was unable to earn any runs off of their seven hits.

Freshman Edith Prieto went two-for-three from the plate but was unable to parlay anything into a score. Arizona Western scored three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth to bust the game open.

Sophomore Baily Critchlow took the loss in the game as she pitched five innings. She finished with eight hits, two strikeouts and one walk.

The Aztecs fell behind in the second game 2-0, but finally found some offense in the fifth inning as sophomore Margarita Corona hit a two-run RBI single to give PCC a 3-2 lead. The Aztecs would strengthen their lead to 5-3 before the end of the inning.

Freshman pitcher Mandy Lorenson finished her complete game with a strikeout on the final batter as Arizona Western left the tying runner stranded on third. Lorenson finished with six hits, seven strikeouts and five walks.

 

Feb. 4: PCC 13, Glendale 1 / PCC 5, Glendale 4

Pima earned a sweep in a home doubleheader against Glendale Community College. The Aztecs dominated the first game early, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings.

Critchlow threw the three innings, and picked up a win giving up one hit and no runs. Pima was solid in all aspects as they finished with a 13-1 win.

The second game was much closer as it took a game winning RBI double from Corona to seal it. The Aztecs had another solid start in this game, scoring two runs in the first inning.

Glendale would battle back to obtain the lead and set things up for Corona’s heroic moment in the end.

Critchlow picked up another win in a relief effort. She gave up no hits and earned a strikeout in the final two innings. Freshman Mandy Lorenson started the game and finished with eight hits, four strikeouts and four walks.

 

Feb. 7: PCC 9, Mesa 5 / PCC 12, Mesa 5 

The Aztecs picked up another big sweep on the road this, as Pima was sharp in this conference meeting at Mesa.

The offense was big during the mid-innings in the first game as Freshman Alyssa Smith hit an RBI double in the fifth inning and Sophomore Gabriela Trejo cracked a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Trejo finished the contest three-for-four two RBIs and two runs scored.

Critchlow earned the win after pitching a complete game, finishing with nine hits, four strikeouts, and two walks.

The Aztecs were able to take a big lead in the second game during the fifth inning. Pima was up 5-4 at this point in the game but scored seven runs in the fifth to put the game away.

Freshman Hannah Freer got the win in a relief appearance. She pitched the final three innings and ended with four hits, two strikeouts and one walk.

 

Feb. 11: PCC 4, Yavapai College 12 / PCC 2, Yavapai College 15

It was a tough day for the Aztecs at home against Yavapai College. PCC gave up a total of 27 runs between two games and were never able to get anything going.

Yavapai started the first game hot and never looked back. The roughriders were able to score two runs in five of the seven innings played.

Sophomore Courtney Brown provided a bright spot for the Aztecs as she hit a solo home run in the third inning. Brown finished the game 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Critchlow took the loss as she pitched two innings and gave up four runs. Critchlow finished with six hits, one strikeout, and two walks.

The second game did not go any better as Yavapai scored five runs in the first inning and another six runs in the fifth to finish the dominant performance.

Freshman Mandy Lorenson took the loss after pitching two-thirds of an inning giving up five runs on five walks.

 

Feb. 14: PCC 3, Gateway 5 / PCC 12, Gateway 0

Pima was able to split with Gateway Community College at home.

The Aztecs fell behind early in the first game and were never able to quite catch up in the end. Critchlow took the loss pitching a complete game with five earned runs, eight hits, four strikeouts and two walks.

The second game was much different as PCC was able to jump out to an early lead themselves scoring eight runs in the first inning. Gateway was not able to recover. Sophomore Luisa Silvain earned the win as she pitched the whole game with two hits, three strikeouts and two walks.

 

ON DECK

Feb. 18: Central Arizona College, West Campus, doubleheader 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.

Feb. 21: Eastern Arizona College, West Campus, doubleheader 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.

Feb. 25: Scottsdale CC, West Campus, doubleheader 12 p.m. & 2 p.m.

Feb. 28: @Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, AZ, doubleheader 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.

 

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Aztecs catching fire at right time

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Aztecs catching fire at right time

Casey Muse Jr./Aztec Press Sophomore guard Zach Evans dribbles past a South Mountain defender.

By CASEY MUSE JR

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team has won five of their last six games and is finding consistency on both ends of the court as they inch closer to postseason play. The team is all about staying together and filling their roles. 

Feb. 4: PCC 111, Eastern Arizona 100

The Aztecs were able to pick up a conference win in Thatcher against Eastern Arizona.

Both teams were hot on offense in the first half as the game was tied 55-55 at the break.

Pima was able to tighten up its defense just enough in the second half and the offense didn’t falter down the stretch for the 111-100 result.

Sophomore Emilio Acedo was on fire from three-point range, making eight, on his way to a team high 36 points.

Sophomore Deion James came up with 26 points and nine rebounds and fellow sophomore Damon Dubots scored 23 points. Freshman Isaiah Murphy added 16 points and seven rebounds off of the bench.

The Aztecs swept Eastern Arizona this season as they won a home meeting with the Gila Monsters 94-88 in December.

Feb. 8: PCC 121, South Mountain CC 92

Pima was able to play a dominant first half in a home contest against South Mountain.

South Mountain used a 26-9 run in the second half to close the gap to eight points. That was as close as it got as the Aztecs responded with a 22-10 run of their own regaining control for good.

James accumulated his 14th double-double of the season with a team high 29 points and 12 rebounds. Acedo had another big night scoring 28 points on seven three-point shots.

Murphy and Dubots each added 16 points. The result was another season sweep for Pima as they took the previous meeting in Phoenix, 116-84. 

Feb. 11: PCC 76, Scottsdale CC 73

Pima had a strong second half to come back against Scottsdale Community College on the road. It was a low scoring game throughout, as the Aztecs struggled to find consistent offense in the first half. The result was a 41-35 deficit for PCC at the break.

Freshmen Ilunga Moise and Alize Travis provided a much needed spark off of the bench in the second half as they combined for 29 points. Moise earned a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Travis contributed 15 points and four assists.

“The style of play has been working well.” Travis said. “We like to get out and run and we have some guys who can fill it up so I’ve just been trying to put them in the best position to get easy shots.”

Murphy led the team in scoring with 18 points as well as nine rebounds.

The win tallied another season sweep for the Aztecs as they won their home meeting with the Artichokes 108-83 last month.

“We have been playing well as a unit over the last three games.” Travis explained. “Executing the game plan has been our focus and as the season is coming to an end we are looking forward to keeping the momentum but we still have a lot of work to do.”

ON DECK

Feb. 18: at Phoenix College, 4 p.m.

Feb. 22: Central Arizona, West Cmapus, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 25: at Mesa CC, 4p.m.

Feb. 28: Arizona Western, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.

Pro hockey finds home in Old Pueblo

Pro hockey finds home in Old Pueblo

By CASEY MUSE JR.

Ice hockey surely is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of things to do in Tucson.

Average temperatures regularly reach the 70s during winter months and snow is pretty much a foreign object.

Despite all that, the National Hockey League Arizona Coyotes agreed in April 2016 to purchase their American Hockey League affiliate team, the Springfield Falcons, and relocate them to Tucson.

In May, the team signed a 10-year lease to play home games at the Tucson Convention Center downtown.

After a local naming contest, the franchise officially became the Tucson Roadrunners.

Mark Lamb of the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos became the Roadrunners’ first head coach in June.

“We have a lot of guys playing hard,” Lamb said. “Talent-wise and player-wise, we are working hard.”

New franchise brass have worked hard to put together a competitive roster in the first year.

Young stars like defenseman Kyle Wood offer an opportunity for locals to experience the future of professional hockey.

“It’s been really fun playing here,” Wood said.

Besides building a winner, the biggest challenge for the team is garnering community support. Several names behind the scenes are determined to do just that.

Director of Media Relations Tom Callahan is an East Coast guy who has loved the sport of hockey since he was a kid.

“Coming to a market like Tucson, where I believe only University of Arizona club hockey has been played occasionally, is definitely a challenge,” Callahan said. “It is like a mission to bring hockey to people who may or may not be fans, or maybe they are casual fans.”

Callahan stressed the importance of exposing children to the game.

“There are kids out here who are experiencing their first hockey game and maybe they are hooked, maybe they’ve found a new favorite player and will try to get their parents to take them skating and get them involved,” he said. “It is all about sharing that passion and creating fans.”

Callahan broadcasts play-by-play for every game on AM radio 1450. The station is also available on the iheartradio app for students.

To encourage attendance, the club offers a Tucson Roadrunners student rush pass.

Eligible students can visit tucsonroadrunners.com and provide their name, phone number and an active collegiate email address.

The club will contact students via text message on game day to offer special drink and concession deals.

Digital Operations Manager Alexander Kinkopf is in charge of running the team’s various social media accounts, and considers it his job to make hockey appealing to college students.

“People get so tired of the traditional final scores or player updates,” he said. “When people see an official team account show some sort of personality or some sort of voice, it really strikes a chord.”

Kinkopf keeps up with trends in an effort to make the Roadrunner’s social media more relatable.

“One of the most fun parts of my job is to be able to be creative with the sport and to be able to relate it to pop culture,” he said.

Kinkopf encourages students to follow the Roadrunners on Twitter @RoadrunnersAHL or like the team page on Facebook.

“It is very important to us to cater to the local college students here,” he said.

Hockey is arguably the most entertaining sport on the planet. It is fast-paced and action-packed, making it is easy for a casual fan to evolve into a die-hard.

Pima Community College students can enjoy the experience first-hand by supporting the Tucson Roadrunners.

Single-game tickets start at $14. For more information or to buy tickets, call 866-77-HOCKEY toll-free or visit tucsonroadrunners.com.


ON DECK

Feb. 24, 25, 28: San Jose, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 17, 18: Bakersfield, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 25: San Jose, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 26: San Jose, TCC, 4:05 p.m.

March 28: San Antonio, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 31: San Diego, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

April 1: San Diego, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

 

Roadrunners right winger Anthony Duclair looks for a pass in a home game against San Diego on Jan. 28 at the Tucson Convention Center.

ATHLETIC VOICE: Trump: 'yuge' sports guy

ATHLETIC VOICE: Trump: ‘yuge’ sports guy

 

By CASEY MUSE JR.

 Donald J. Trump was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20.

As split as society may be, we must try to make the best of the situation and educate ourselves about our new commander in chief.

Sports have a knack for making anyone more relatable. Trump is actually very knowledgeable about many American sports and even participated at a young age.

He was a three-sport athlete at the New York Military Academy from 1959-1964, participating in baseball and football, and playing one season of varsity soccer. Rumor has it that Trump could have pursued a professional baseball career.

As a businessman in the 1980s, Trump facilitated two consecutive WrestleMania events in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Before long, he was regularly participating in WWE promotions and grew a significant fan base. Trump was stunned by Stone Cold Steve Austin himself, who was the biggest star in entertainment wrestling in the 2000s.

Trump was inducted into the celebrity section of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.

He also owned the USFL football New Jersey Generals franchise in the mid-1980s, and spent loads of money to recruit Heisman trophy winners such as Herschel Walker and Doug Flutie.

Not surprisingly, Trump kept league media busy when he stirred up controversy.

The USFL was supposed to eventually overtake the NFL as the top football league in the country, which never happened. The league folded in 1986 and everyone involved, including Trump, was forced to move on.

Trump’s relationships with professional athletes made recent headlines during his presidential campaign. None was more prominent than his rapport with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The two apparently exchange text messages often. Brady supposedly texted a lengthy congratulatory text shortly after Trump’s inauguration ceremony.

The friendship seems inevitable. Brady is a wealthy winner with an extremely competitive attitude. Sound familiar?

Despite all of these ties to various sports, Trump seems to hold golf most dear.

All-time golf great Tiger Woods and Trump made headlines in late 2016 after they were seen playing a few holes together at one of Trump’s Florida courses.

Trump’s name can be found on 17 golf properties around the world and it is well known that he plays often.

He should have no problems finding proper conditions to play in Washington D.C. during his term in office. Let’s just hope he finds some time to do some presidential work between rounds.

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SOFTBALL: Aztecs continue to establish program

By CASEY MUSE JR

After a promising non-conference start to the season, the Pima Community College softball team opened conference play with a split at Arizona Western College in Yuma.

The No. 18-ranked Aztecs were held scoreless in the first game, but rallied in the second to take a 5-4 victory.

In the first game, Pima struggled to get the bats going, managing just seven hits. Freshman Edith Prieto led the team at the plate, batting 2-for-3.

Sophomore Margarita Corona led the Aztecs back in the second contest, batting 3-for-4 and driving in two runs. Freshman Mandy Lorenson was the winning pitcher, allowing four runs while striking out seven.

The softball team began its 2016-2017 season in the Southern Nevada Kick-Off Classic on Jan. 27, winning three of five games.

The Aztecs are coming off a productive 2015-16 campaign that saw them finish with an overall record of 47-19-1.

Pima fought its way last season to the Region I Division II championship game, where it fell to Phoenix College by a final score of 11-3. The team will be looking this season to reclaim that level of success and take the next step.

In 67 games last season, the Aztecs scored 523 runs with a .397 batting average and a .472 on-base percentage. They also cracked 38 home runs last season.

Sophomore Courtney Brown will look to improve upon her team-high 97 hits and 75 runs. Brown had the opportunity to emerge into a leadership role her freshman season, so now there are no surprises about her capabilities.

Corona and fellow sophomore Bailey Critchlow each posted 80 hits and 59 runs last season.

Critchlow will also be asked step up in the pitching department for the Aztecs, and may be the team’s ace. She appeared in 31 games last season and posted a record of 19-8 with an overall ERA of 4.50.

Fellow sophomore Luisa F. Silvain, returning after 29 game appearances in 2016, will also have an opportunity to step up as a pitcher. Last year, she posted a record of five wins and two losses and an overall ERA of 4.68.

On defense, the Aztecs return all three base players.

Sophomore Amy Pacheco returns for first base after appearing in 29 games last season.

Sophomore Gabriela Trejo will return to second after appearing in 56 games last season. Fellow sophomore Larissa Rodriguez will be back at third after appearing in 43 games last season.

Familiarity with teammates should be a huge advantage for the Aztecs this spring. Pima will look for another successful season under Coach Armando Quiroz, who won his 400th career game last season.

It is all about taking it one game at a time for the Aztecs, who opened the season ranked No. 18 in the NJCAA Poll.

 

ON DECK

Feb 4: Glendale CC, West Campus, doubleheader, noon and 2 p.m.

Feb 7: at Mesa CC, doubleheader, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Feb 11: Yavapai College, West Campus, doubleheader, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Lethal offense gets Pima back on track

Lethal offense gets Pima back on track

By CASEY MUSE JR

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team rode a six-game winning streak during winter break.

The team suffered its first loss during a road contest with Cochise College on Jan. 7, and then dropped three straight games from there. The Aztecs’ second-half performances were their downfall.

With school back in session, the team looked to get back on track and find a way to play a complete game.

Jan. 14: PCC 97, Central Arizona College 103

 PCC dropped it third straight game against Central Arizona College on the road.

The Aztecs were in control in the first half, leading by as much as 11. They took a 46-41 lead into halftime but could not maintain their good performance in the second half. Pima was outscored 62-51 and lost the game 103-97.

Sophomore Zach Evans led the team with 27 points and freshman Isaiah Murphy scored 15 points.

“It is important for us to get our guys playing well and for them to see the ball go through the hoop,” Evans said after the game. “Hopefully we can bring more energy the next game and to the rest of the season.”

Jan. 18: PCC 115, Mesa CC 78

 The Aztecs got back to winning in a home conference game against Mesa Community College. Pima dominated the entire game, and never trailed.

Sophomore Emilio Acedo made eight 3-pointers to score a team-high 26 points. Fellow sophomore Jacob Anastasi added 23 points.

Sophomore Deion James had his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Evans also had a double-double, with 12 points and 11 assists.

“This was a really important win for us getting back on track,” Evans said. “Deion had a huge game tonight.”

Jan. 21: PCC 97, Arizona Western College 101

 Pima made it close at the end but was not able to overcome a double-digit deficit against Arizona Western College in Yuma.

The Aztecs were down 94-80 with 1:46 left in the game, and then Acedo began making threes. Pima cut the lead to 4 points with 7.8 seconds left but the Matadors made their free throws and sealed the game.

Acedo finished with 22 points and six rebounds. Anastasi scored 22 points and James added another double-double to his resume with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Jan. 25: PCC 96, Tohono O’odham CC 91

 Pima returned to winning ways in a road game against Tohono O’odham. It was a satisfying piece of revenge for the Aztecs, who fell to Tohono O’odham 85-82 at home in November.

The game was close throughout, and Pima found itself trailing at the half. PCC used a strong second half to close things out, outscoring the Jegos 54-43 in the period.

James led the way with 16 points. Freshman Alize Travis was huge off the bench with 13 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range as well as 4-for-4 shooting from the free throw line.

Jan. 28: PCC 98, Chandler-Gilbert CC 87

 The Aztecs won their second game in a row at home against Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Pima was in control throughout the game and led by as many as 17 points in the second half.

James earned his 12th double-double of the season, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Anastasi added 24 points and seven rebounds.

“We have a very talented and unselfish team that’s willing to make the extra pass,” Anastasi said. “It’s about taking what the defense gives you. We trust each other and we all have our roles and know them and that’s vital to the team’s success.”

Murphy was the leading scorer off of the bench with 23 points. Acedo rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 points.

Feb. 1: PCC 87 Glendale 94

 The Aztecs dropped a conference game on the road against Glendale Community College.

Pima played a good first half and took a 49-45 lead into the break.

Unfortunately, the team dealt with foul trouble during the second half as sophomore Deion James resisted picking up his fifth and final foul during the final stretch. James was still able to score a team high 25 points despite being on the verge of disqualification. Freshman Isaiah Murphy contributed 16 points and sophomore Damon Dubots added 15 of his own.

The result meant a season split with the Gauchos, PCC took a previous meeting at home 108-96 in December.

Casey Muse jr./Aztec Press Freshman Guard Isaiah Murphy goes up strong during the Dec. 7 matchup with Eastern.

 

 

 

ON DECK

Feb 4: at Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, 7:30 p.m.

Feb 8: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.

Feb 11: at Scottsdale CC, 5 p.m.

Feb 15: Cochise College, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Aztecs win two conference games in a row

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Aztecs win two conference games in a row

By CASEY MUSE JR

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (7-3, 2-1 in ACCAS) won two important conference games on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, continuing to make strides toward improvement after losing its conference opener on Nov. 22.

Every game is critical for the Aztecs as they prepare for some time off during winter break.

A Dec. 7 game against Eastern Arizona Community College took place after the Aztec Press went to the printer.

Pima next plays South Mountain Community College in Phoenix on Dec. 10 at 4 p.m.

 

Nov. 22: PCC 82, Tohono O’ Odham 85 

Pima played a close game but was unable to come away with the win in its first ACCAC conference contest. PCC fell at home 85-82 to Tohono O’ Odham Community College.

The Aztecs kept it close most of the contest but allowed a late 9-2 run by Tohono O’ Odham that sealed the win.

Freshman Isaiah Murphy finished the game with a team-high 25 points, shooting 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the process. Sophomore Deion James was next up with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore Emilio Acedo scored 16 points, all in the second half, and sophomore Zach Evans rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.

 

Nov. 30: PCC 91, Chandler-Gilbert CC 76

The Aztecs battled on the road to earn their first ACCAC conference win of the season, a 91-76 victory over Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Pima was in control the entire game. The team took a 48-33 lead into the halftime break and maintained the double-digit lead through the entire second half.

Sophomore Deion James led the team in scoring with 17 points. Three other Aztecs also scored in double figures. Sophomore Damon Dubots had 16 points, Acedo scored 15 points and freshman Alize Travis had 12 points.

“We are very focused right now,” Travis said. “This is conference play now, so we are all locked in. Coach has been preaching trust and effort, so we have been trying to be as selfless as possible every time we touch the floor.”

 

Dec. 3: PCC 108, Glendale CC 96 

Pima played another complete game to secure a 108-96 conference victory over Glendale Community College.

The Aztecs controlled the first half and led 56-42 at the break.

Glendale found life in the second half, and steadily cut into the lead. The closest it got was a 95-90 Pima lead with 6:09 left in the game. The Aztecs came together for one final surge and put the game away.

Sophomores Jacob Anastasi and Deion James led the team on an 11-0 run down the stretch to secure the lead and victory. Anastasi finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds while James earned 17 points.

Acedo was the overall leading scorer for the game, with 25 points. Murphy earned a double-double off the bench with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“It is all about playing together and executing,” sophomore Zach Evans said about the two wins.

 

ON DECK

Dec. 10: at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, 4 p.m.

 

Sophomore guard Zach Evans plays defense against New Mexico JC at the Native American Classic. (Ashley Munoz/Aztec Press)

SPORTS BRIEFS

SPORTS BRIEFS

Pima to honor fall teams Dec. 12

The Pima Community College athletics department will host a Fall Sports Celebration on Monday, Dec. 12, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the West Campus Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre.

Six fall teams – men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, football and volleyball – will be recognized for their season accomplishments. Refreshments will be served after the program.

Coaches, players, family members, friends and community fans are welcome to attend. RSVP by Dec. 8 by emailing April Jessee at ajessee@pima.edu or Raymond Suarez at rmsuarez1@pima.edu.

-By Casey Muse Jr.

 

Dec. 15 fundraiser aids injury management

PCC’s sports injury management department will hold a fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to closing at Buffalo Wild Wings, 4329 N. Oracle Road, Suite 135.

When customers say they support the sports injury management department or present a fundraising ticket to their server, Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10 percent of the bill to the department.

The sports injury management team is in charge of providing health and safety to all 16 teams that make up the athletic department.

-By Casey Muse Jr.

 

Hector Banegas (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Banegas makes NJCAA All-American list

Soccer standout Hector Banegas won a variety of post-season awards, including being named a third-team NJCAA All-American.

In addition, he was named a first team National Soccer Coaches Associate of America All-American. He was runner-up for ACCAC/Region I Player of the Year and earned first team All-ACCAC/Region 1 honors. He was also named first team NSCAA Junior College Division I All-West Region.

The sophomore forward led the team in scoring with 17 goals, and provided seven assists.

Banegas played in 21 games this fall after returning from a string of injuries during the 2015 season that required multiple surgeries.

His final goal came in dramatic fashion when he scored a last-minute game winner on Oct. 27 in a semifinal match against Arizona Western College.

The Aztecs ended the season with an 18-3-1 record. They won their third consecutive Region I, Division I Championship against Phoenix College on Oct. 29.

-By Francisco Zapata

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Aztecs ready selves for conference play

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Aztecs ready selves for conference play

By CASEY MUSE JR

 

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team faced quality competition in preconference games that offered opportunities for the Aztecs to test themselves before conference play began Nov. 22.

The first conference game, against Tohono O’Odham Community College, took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.

 

Nov. 9: PCC 133, Arizona Christian JV 87

The Aztecs got off to a hot start in a 133-87 home win against Arizona Christian University’s JV team.

Pima opened with a 20-4 run and took a 65-45 lead into the halftime break. Another 17-0 run at the end of the third quarter put the game away.

Sophomores led the way, with Damon Dubots scoring 27 points and seven rebounds. Emilio Acedo knocked down four 3-pointers on his way to a 21-point, seven-rebound game and Jacob Anastasi recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

 

Nov. 13: PCC 92, Utah State-Eastern 90

 Pima faced its first true test of the season and came away with a 92-90 victory over Utah State University-Eastern.

The Aztecs and Eagles battled to a 46-46 halftime tie. Pima took a double-digit lead in the third quarter but surrendered a big run in the fourth to keep the game tight until the end.

Defense won the day as the Aztecs hit a pair of key three pointers and made key stops to obtain the victory.

Acedo led the way with 24 points, shooting 6 for 12 from the three-point line.

 

Nov. 17: PCC 86, New Mexico JC 99

PCC suffered its first loss of the season in a 99-86 contest against Division I New Mexico JC on the first day of the Native American Classic.

The Aztecs kept it close in the first half, going into the break down three points.

Sophomore Deion James gave Pima the lead on a technical foul free throw with 18 minutes left. New Mexico then went on an 11-0 run to take a double digit lead and control of the game. The Aztecs cut into the lead slightly but were never able to complete a comeback.

James finished the game with a double-double, 25 points and 10 rebounds. Acedo had a solid game as well scoring 19 points.

 

Nov. 18: PCC 95, Salt Lake CC 102

The Aztecs showed heart in their 102-95 loss to last season’s NJCAA Division I national champion, Salt Lake Community College.

Pima fell behind 56-36 at halftime but went on a 19-4 run halfway through the second half to claw their way back into the game.

Acedo and Freshman Isaiah Murphy were key during the comeback run.

The Aztecs got as close as one point but were never able to overtake the lead. Murphy finished the game with 28 points.

 

Nov. 19: PCC 120, Pascua Yaqui 113

Pima won a shootout against Pascua Yaqui 120-113 on the final day of the Native American Classic.

The Aztecs took a 59-47 lead into the halftime break. They would lead by as much as 21 points but allowed a late barrage from Pascua Yaqui that cut into the lead.

Sophomore Dakota Kordsiemon led the team with 26 points. Freshman Ilunga Moise had a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Freshman Alize Travis contributed 24 points, and sophomore Zach Evans finished with 21 points as well.

“All of our players weren’t even able to play tonight.” Evans said after the game. “If we all play and play together, I believe that we are good enough to make nationals.”

 

ON DECK

Nov. 30: at Chandler-Gilbert CC, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 3: Glendale CC, West Campus gym, 4 p.m.

Dec. 7: Eastern Arizona College, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.

Dakota Kordsiemon, a sophomore, was the game's high scorer with 26 points. Phto by Katelyn Roberts

Dakota Kordsiemon, a sophomore, was the game’s high scorer with 26 points.
Photo by Katelyn Roberts

 

 

FOOTBALL : Pima season 'disappointing'

FOOTBALL : Pima season ‘disappointing’

By CASEY MUSE JR

 

The Pima Community College football team finished the 2016 season Nov. 12 with a 37-32 home defeat to No. 9 ranked Mesa Community College.

The game was close throughout, with Mesa busting out of the gates to score first. The Aztecs answered right away on a 57-yard touchdown pass from freshman Justin Martin to freshman Jalen Edwards to tie the game.

The second quarter remained close as Martin answered another Mesa score with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Aztecs trailed 20-14 at halftime.

Pima had arguably its biggest play of the game on the first series of the third quarter.

The Aztecs forced a punt by Mesa that was blocked by sophomore Brandon Yamamoto and scooped up by freshman Logan Stewart for the game-tying score.

The momentum shifted another time as Mesa scored on its next two drives to take a commanding 34-20 lead.

Pima did everything it could in the fourth quarter, beginning with a 69-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Jeff Cotton to cut the lead to 34-26.

One final Mesa field goal was answered with a 7-yard touchdown by Martin.

The Aztec defense got a crucial stop on the next series to set up the offense with one final opportunity to win.

Pima showed plenty of heart during its final drive, earning a fourth-down conversion on another quarterback-keeper from Martin.

However, the drive stalled on a final deep ball attempt to Cotton. This forced the Aztecs to turn the ball over on downs one last time with three seconds left.

Martin finished the game with four total touchdowns, two passing and two rushing.

The final score did not read the way the Aztecs wanted but the team fought until the very end. That was the theme for this entire season.

Pima finished the 2016 season at 3-6 overall and 2-5 in WSFL/ACCAC conference play.

Cotton was selected first team All-WSFL/ACCAC and first team All-Region at wide receiver.

Sophomore Jordan Agasiva was named first team All-WSFL/ACCAC and first team All-Region as an offensive lineman.

Sophomore Kana’I Picanco was named second team All-WSFL/ACCAC and second team All-Region at linebacker.

Sophomore Paul Davis was selected second team All-WSFL/ACCAC and second team All-Region at defensive back.

“This was a disappointing season,” head coach Jim Monaco said after the Mesa game.

“However, we learned a lot throughout the season,” he added. “We were very young, we were hurt. We could have quit on the season but we didn’t and for that you have to be proud.”

Look ahead to 2017, Monaco said he’s excited to have an opportunity to come back and lead the program again.

Freshman defensive back Beau Griego also plans to return. “I’ll be back, excited for next season,” he said.

 

Pima defensive backs line up against Mesa in a 37-32 loss on Nov.12 Photo by Casey Muse Jr.

Pima defensive backs line up against Mesa in a 37-32 loss on Nov.12
Photo by Casey Muse Jr.

 

Top 10: Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping destinations

Top 10: Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping destinations

By CASEY MUSE JR.

Black Friday brings out the best and the worst of America. People line up days in advance and shove their way through crowds to obtain material items at discounted prices. Others wait to shop online during Cyber Monday. Whether you see more good or evil in holiday shopping, here are the 10 best destinations to satisfy your fix.

  1. Sears

Sears really does offer a little of everything, including clothing, shoes, appliances and tools. The city’s two locations at Park Place and Tucson malls will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Sales ads are available online at sears.com.

  1. Kohl’s

Swagger lacking? Kohl’s stores carry clothing of all styles and should have some killer deals. Tucson’s three Kohl’s locations will be open on Thanksgiving Day. A sales ad is available online at kohls.com.

  1. GameStop

This one is for the gamers. GameStop will be packed with deals on new and used games, consoles and accessories. GameStop locations are usually a bit smaller, so should be an earlier stop on your list. There are more than a dozen GameStop locations in town. Find more information and a sales ad online at gamestop.com. 

  1. Home Depot

“Do it yourself” starts here. For those who get a kick out of tools, lumber, gardening supplies and plumbing accessories, Home Depot should surely be on your list. There are seven locations throughout Tucson. Find more information and a sales ad at homedepot.com.

  1. JCPenny

Another fine clothing store indeed. Don’t limit JCP to just clothing, though. It has one of the best selections of jewelry and accessories in the retail game. There are four locations in Tucson, including El Con and Tucson malls. Find a sales ad at jcpenny.com.

  1. EBay

The first website on the list! Seriously though, who doesn’t know eBay? You can find just about anything within reason. There will be deals online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Find more information at ebay.com. 

  1. Best Buy

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Best Buy is tech-head heaven, with just about every electronic device you could want including video games, computers, televisions, phones and movies. It’s difficult to visit and not find something of interest. There are three Best Buy locations in town. View sales ads at bestbuy.com.

  1. Walmart

The market giant offers some of the best Black Friday deals, but will also be one of the busiest destinations. If you do this often, you surely have a crazy Black Friday Walmart story. There are more than a dozen Tucson locations. Find a sales ad online at walmart.com. 

  1. Target

Target is like Walmart with half the crazy. It’s another store with a little bit of everything, including clothing, food, toys and electronics. All eight Target locations in town should be packed for Black Friday. Find a sales ad at target.com.

  1. Amazon

Amazon is another website where you can find just about anything. If you want to avoid physical contact, you can find that same big-screen television and possibly for a cheaper price. This fan favorite seems to be the future of shopping. Find a sales ad and more information at amazon.com.

FOOTBALL: Pima takes one of two games

FOOTBALL: Pima takes one of two games

By CASEY MUSE JR

Sophomore wide receiver Jeff Cotton earned Offensive Player of the week honors Nov. 1. photo by PCC Athletics

Sophomore wide receiver Jeff Cotton earned Offensive Player of the week honors Nov. 1.
photo by PCC Athletics

 

The Pima Community College football team (3-5, 2-4 in WSFL) came close to completing a big comeback in a road contest against Glendale Community College on Nov. 5, but lost 30-24.

The Aztecs battled in the first half to a manageable 16-10 deficit, but it was all Glendale in the third quarter. The Aztecs were outscored 14-0 and entered the fourth quarter down 30-10.

Freshman quarterback Justin Martin and the offense found life on their opening drive of the quarter when Martin connected with sophomore receiver Caymen Metcalf for a 17-yard touchdown.

After the Pima defense forced a punt on the next drive, Martin connected with sophomore Jeff Cotton on a 48-yard touchdown reception to make it a one-score game with just over five minutes left in the game.

Another good series by the Aztecs defense gave Martin and company one last shot to obtain the win. Martin found Cotton for a 35-yard reception to get the Aztecs past midfield, but the offense stalled and time ran out.

Martin finished the game with three touchdowns.

On Oct. 29, PCC used a huge offensive second half to end a three-game losing streak. The Aztecs took down the Phoenix College Bears 69-27 in resounding fashion.

The home game began with a tight first quarter that saw one Pima touchdown matched by a Phoenix College field goal.

The Aztecs broke the game open with their best offensive quarter of the season in the second. Pima scored 28 points and took a 35-13 lead into the halftime break.

The team added another 34 points in the second half while dismantling Phoenix College’s defense.

Martin had another solid outing with 14 pass completions for 320 yards and one touchdown.

He also ran the ball 11 times for an additional 81 yards and two touchdowns. His longest rushing touchdown was an athletic 19-yard scramble.

Freshman Christian Wilridge had 10 carries for 79 yards and one touchdown. Cotton had six catches, 152 yards and one touchdown.

The offense finished the game with 634 total yards.

Pima’s defense did its job as well. Freshman Dominique Fenstermacher returned an interception for a 46-yard touchdown at the end of the first half.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: PCC opens season with blowout wins

MEN’S BASKETBALL: PCC opens season with blowout wins

Freshman guard Isaiah Murphy drives to the basket in a 127-68 victory over Vegas Impact on Nov. 6.

Freshman guard Isaiah Murphy drives to the basket in a 127-68 victory over Vegas Impact on Nov. 6.

By CASEY MUSE JR

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team opened the season with two decisive non-conference victories, a 127-68 win over Vegas Impact and a 138-63 win over Three Kings Prep Academy from Windsor Ontario, Canada.

Pima was scheduled to play Arizona Christian Academy Nov. 9. The game took place after the Aztec Press went to the printer.

The Aztecs were in control for the entire Nov. 6 game against Vegas Impact. They started the game on a 23-0 run and took a 64-25 lead into the halftime break. The second half was more of the same, behind 52 points from the bench unit.

Six Aztecs scored double points. Sophomore Dakota Kordsiemon notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Deion James lead the team in scoring with 23 points. Freshman Ilunga Moise was a factor off of the bench, with 19 points and nine rebounds.

The Aztecs also controlled the game against Three Kings Prep Academy, posting a 83-26 lead at the half.

Freshman Isaiah Murphy led the way with 22 points, shooting 10-of-13 from the field. Three other players had 17 points each.

Pima continues home play with games scheduled Nov. 13-22 at the West Campus gym.

The Aztecs return six players from last season’s team, including one redshirt.

Sophomore guard Keven Biggs returns to the team looking to embrace a new leadership role. Biggs averaged 10.1 points and 1.7 assists per game in a 2015 season that saw the Aztecs make their third consecutive appearance in the Region I, Division II playoffs.

He will look to improve upon those numbers and lead the backcourt unit this season along with fellow sophomore Zach Evans.

Also look for sophomore big man Justice Bessard to evolve into a team leader. Bessard stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall and averaged 8.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 2015.

Head coach Brian Peabody will lead the team in his fourth season at Pima.

Peabody had more wins at the high school level (443) than any coach in Tucson history, and has worked each season to rebuild PCC’s program.

PCC had a 12-10 conference record in 2015, its best mark in 15 years. The Aztecs have not won an ACCAC championship since 1980.

Cochise College and Phoenix College tied for the best conference record last season at 16-6.

“It is all about execution this season,” assistant coach Joe Hickle said.

 

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By the numbers: Halloween

Compiled by Casey Muse Jr.

2

Halloween’s ranking as a commercial holiday in the U.S.
Only Christmas surpasses it in sales.

64

Percentage of Americans who celebrate Halloween.

74

Average dollar amount an adult spends on candy, costumes and decor.

1898

Year in which the Herman Goelitz Confectionary Company invented candy corn.

1966

Year in which “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” first aired as TV special.

3,564

Length in feet of the world’s longest haunted house, located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine in Lewisburg, Ohio.

41 million

Estimated number of trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in the United States.

90 million

Estimated number of pounds of chocolate sold during Halloween week.

1.9 billion

Estimated number of dollars spent on Halloween candy each year.

2.8 billion

Estimated number of dollars that party-goers spend on costumes.

131 billion

Pounds of pumpkins produced in 2014 by the top pumpkin-producing states: Illinois, California, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

 

pg10-best-bets-pumpkins

Photo by Robyn Zelickson/Aztec Press

Source: womansday.com/life/g485/15-fascinating-halloween-facts
CROSS COUNTRY: Fernandez finishes seventh at meet

CROSS COUNTRY: Fernandez finishes seventh at meet

By CASEY MUSE JR.

The Pima Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Mesa CC Thunderbird Classic on Oct. 8.

The men’s team, currently ranked No. 19 in the country, finished the day with 153 total points. That total earned the Aztecs a seventh-place finish out of 10 teams.

 Sophomore David Fernandez completed the 8K race in seventh place out of 80 runners. His finishing time was 26:21.8.

Fernandez’s finish is one of the best the Aztecs have seen this season.

pg14-cross-country-david-fernandez

Sophomore David Fernandez. (Photo couresy of PCC Athletics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophomore Armando Antonio Jr. finished in 30th place with a time of 27:48.2. Fellow sophomore Nick Hald finished in 40th with a time of 28:33.4.

 On the women’s side of competition, the Aztecs finished sixth out of seven teams with 141 total points.

Sophomore Samantha Felzien. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Sophomore Samantha Felzien. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

 Sophomore Samantha Felzien had another solid race. She earned a 13th place finish in the women’s 5K out of 69 runners. Her finishing time was 19:14.2.

 Freshman Alondra Carrasco earned 41st place with a time of 21:29.9, and fellow freshman Arianna Roche finished in 44th place with a time of 21:59.1.

Head coach Greg Wenneborg looks to prepare the PCC runners for upcoming championship meets in Glendale, Arizona, and El Dorado, Kansas.