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Pima doesn’t take a break over winter

Pima doesn’t take a break over winter

By DEANNA SHERMAN

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (11-10, 8-5 in ACCAC conference) beat Phoenix College 80-78 in a double overtime victory on Jan. 24.

Despite some difficulty scoring throughout the game freshman Gabby Banales ended the game with a third offensive-rebound put back right as the buzzer went off.

Sophomore Melody McLaughlin led the Aztecs in the second overtime, contributing a 6-0 run that gave Pima a 76-74 lead with 2:01 on the clock.

McLaughlin earned NJCAA National Player of the Week honors for her efforts.

Sophomore Jayla Brown scored a team high 22 points, with her clutch three-point shooting.

“A road conference win is always good,” said Pima head coach Todd Holthaus. “I’m extremely proud of this group of ladies. They faced adversity and found a way through it.”

They easily defeated Chandler-Gilbert 89-51 on Jan. 21.

Pima led by 40 points in the second half and ended the game out-scoring Chandler-Gilbert 52-27.

Freshman Shalise Fernander led with 23 points and 7 rebounds.

Although the Aztecs consistently out-scored Chandler-Gilbert, their defense stood out as well, ending the game with 34 defensive rebounds and 15 steals.

The Aztecs lost 66-59 on the road against Scottsdale Community College on Jan. 17.

Pima’s women’s basketball team defeated South Mountain Community College 84-38 on Jan. 14. A 20-0 run put the nail in the coffin early in the second half. Brown and freshman Hayley Pryor had great games off the bench both scoring in the double digits.

The Aztecs lost at home in a close game against Central Arizona College with a final score of 73-62 on Jan. 10. McLaughlin had 14 points and seven rebounds.  Banales finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Pima broke their losing streak with a  road win against Arizona Western College 63-58 on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The victory was a good team win as five of Pima’s own scored in the double digits.

Then, at No. 15, Pima lost to No. 16 South Suburban College 56-45 on Dec. 28. Pima struggled throughout the game despite Pima’s freshman Kristin Baldwin who nearly had a triple double finishing with nine points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks.

On the second day of the Stone Creek Hotel Cougar Holiday Tournament the Aztecs lost a close game against Lake Michigan College 53-46. McLaughlin had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

They closed out the tournament with a third straight loss against No. 2 North Iowa Area Community College 94-63. Pima never cut the lead by more than 17 points. Banales led the Aztecs with 19 points. Baldwin ended the game with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Pima came up short 87-80 in their first game of the Bruce Fleck Classic tournament against Division I school Casper College on Dec. 16.

They turned things around the following day when they defeated Tucson Sol 80-65.

Finishing the tournament on a high note, the Aztecs closed out the Bruce Fleck Classic beating Arizona Christian University 82-55 on Dec. 18.

After the tournament, Pima’s own sophomore Adrianna Barrientez became the fourth recipient of the Bruce Fleck Scholarship Award, which is given to students who exemplify both athletic and academic excellence.

The Aztecs proceeded to end their losing streak with an upset win over No. 6 ranked Mesa Community College on Dec. 13. In the final seconds Pryor hit a layup with an assist from Banales defeating Mesa 72-70.

Fernander was honored with the ACCAC Division II Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 8-14 having two double-doubles against both Cochise College and Mesa Community College.

The team fell to Cochise College with a final score of 74-47 on Dec. 10.

ON DECK

Jan. 31: @Glendale CC, Glendale, 4 p.m.

Feb. 4: @ Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 7: Cochise College, West Campus, 2 p.m.

Feb. 11: Mesa CC, West Campus, 5:30 p.m.

Pg14-Women's basketball

Freshman Gaby Banales makes a break for the hoop during a home game against Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Jan. 21. The Aztecs won the game, 89-51. ( Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)

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Aztecs go 4-0 in Holiday Ball-Out Tournament

Aztecs go 4-0 in Holiday Ball-Out Tournament

By CALEB FOSTER

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (15-5, 7-6 in ACCAC) has gone 3-3 so far in the new year. The Aztecs found themselves in four tight games recently, with all the contests being decided by just a few points one way or the other.

The Aztecs came up short against No. 5 Phoenix College in their road game on Jan 24. The 77-73 loss marked their second in a row.

Sophomore Matt O’Boyle was unable to be effective in the first half but helped the Aztecs push for a comeback in the second half.

Sophomore Murphy Gershman had 22 points and 16 rebounds in his 12th double-double game of the season, sophomores Bryan Cervantes and Ezini Ugbisien both finished with 13 points on the night.

The Aztecs fell to Chandler-Gilbert 81-79 on Jan 21. The closely contested game saw eight lead changes as both teams fought hard.

Key mistakes by the Aztecs and big plays for Chandler-Gilbert set the tempo for the game and ended up being the difference.

O’Boyle, who led the team with 23 points, came just shy of hitting a game winning buzzer beater. Gershman had another double-double on the night, 22 points and 12 rebounds. Cervantes added 14 points on the night.

The Aztecs almost faced another overtime contest against Scottsdale Community College on Jan. 17 in Scottsdale.

With 3.1 seconds left in the game O’Boyle drew a foul and hit one of his two free throws to give the Aztecs the 89-88 victory after a failed shot by Scottsdale.

O’Boyle ended the game with a team-high 26 points, aided by Gershman who scored 25 points and had 18 rebounds. Freshman Justice Martion finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Pima earned a hard fought 86-84 overtime victory against South Mountain Community College on Jan 14.

Gershman carried the Aztecs with his 33 point, double-double and his buzzer beating three-pointer in overtime to end the game.

The entire game was a battle with neither team gaining a double-digit lead. The teams went back and forth during the end of regulation, but behind a 10-2 run by Pima and two clutch free throws by Martion the Aztecs were able to force overtime.

Martion finished with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double and Cervantes added 12 points of his own.

The Aztecs defeated Central Arizona 89-87 on Jan. 10 at home. Pima entered the second half down two points and continued to trail for the first 13 minutes.

Pima went on 15-2 run to gain the lead late in the game; Ugbisien sealed the game for the Aztecs by grabbing the last rebound.

Gershman had a game-high 24 points to lead the Aztecs to victory. O’Boyle, Cervantes, Martion and freshman Andre Bearden all finished with double digit points.

A nine-point halftime deficit doomed the Aztecs against Arizona Western on Jan. 7. Pima began to come back in the second half, cutting Arizona Western’s lead down to one, but weren’t able to complete the comeback.

Martion led the Aztecs with an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double on the night. Gershman finished with 16 points, trailed closely by Paige with 13.

PCC will face Tohono O’Odham CC on Jan. 28 at the West Campus after the Aztec Press goes to print. Coverage of the game will be included next issue.

Over the break, the team dominated in the Holiday Ball-Out Tournament en route to a 4-0 tournament record.

In their first game of the tournament, the Aztecs defeated Trinity Prep 71-33. O’Boyle led the team with 25 points followed by Cervantes who had 20.

The second game of the tournament was a much better match against San Diego Prep. Martion dropped 23 points to lead the Aztecs to a 68-62 victory. Freshman Dorian Paige finished the contest with 17 points.

Pima came alive offensively in the semifinals as they defeated South Shore Prep 132-80. Martion led the Aztecs with a double-double 32 points and 15 rebounds. Four other Pima players scored in double digits.

The Aztecs capped their win streak off with a 74-66 win against Balboa Prep in the championship game. Martion led PCC in points for the third game in a row with 19 points, Cervantes finished right behind him with 17.

ON DECK

Jan. 31: @ Glendale CC, 4 p.m.

Feb. 4: @EasternArizonaCollege, 7:30p.m.

Feb. 7: Cochise College, West Campus,

4p.m.

Feb. 11:MesaCC, WestCampus, 7:30p.m.

Pg15-Men's basketball-Murphy Gershman

Murphy Gersham looks to pass to teammate Matt O’Boyle during a game against Chandler-Gilbert on Jan. 21. Pima lost the game 81-79. ( Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)

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Pima hosts  wheelchair rugby tourney

Pima hosts wheelchair rugby tourney

By CALEB FOSTER

Pima Community College hosted its first wheelchair rugby tournament at the West Campus gym on Jan. 17-18.

The tournament brought in a decent crowd as teams from Arizona and abroad battled it out in fast-paced games.

“We are excited to be hosting the first ever adaptive sporting event at PCC,” Gabe Nyrkkanen, a Program Specialist for Disabled Student Resources for PCC said in a press release.

The tournament brought excitement and entertainment to Pima in a very unique way. Constant action on the court held the attention of the crowd, whether it be by the constant collisions, the one-on-one races down the court or the occasional exploding tire tubes.

The free event was the perfect way for Pima to introduce new sporting events to its members and the public. The event was the first of its kind at Pima. The adaptive sporting event showed how other events of this sort can have success on Pima’s campus.

The tournament was held in conjunction with the United States Quad Rugby Association. The USQRA contains 42 teams including the Phoenix Heat, the Tucson Renegades and the University of Arizona Wildcats.

The league is currently in its  eighth season.

Nyrkkanen commented on the event saying, “We also hope to create future opportunities for adaptive recreation to Pima students and the community at large.”

Pg14-Wheelchair tournament

The University of Arizona wheelchair rugby team regroups during a time out. Pima Community College hosted its inaugural wheelchair rugby tournament on Jan. 17-18. (Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)

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Seahawks Super Bowl repeat?

Seahawks Super Bowl repeat?

By WILL WILLCOXSON

The New England Patriots from the AFC will take on the Seattle Seahawks of the NFC in Glendale, Ariz. for Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.

While the Patriots easily thwarted the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship, the Seahawks had to overcome the Green Bay Packers with one of the most memorable comebacks in postseason history.

This Super Bowl has a lot of hype surrounding it, Revis Island versus the Legion of Boom, the well-established Patriots dynasty versus the upcoming Seahawks dynasty, the battle of big running backs and for the first time since 2009, the No. 1 seeds from each conference will suit up for the big championship game.

Both teams have strong defenses and offenses, but there are some notable mismatches. Seattle’s offense struggled for most of the NFC championship game, turning the ball over 4 four times, achieving a zero quarterback rating for Russell Wilson at the half, and not scoring its first offensive points with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

However, Seattle was ranked ninth in total yards on offense for the regular season, so the Seahawks are going to want to look like their usual selves against the stingy Patriots defense that intercepted Andrew Luck twice in the AFC Championship.

Seattle had a few injury scares in the NFC championship, safety Kam Chancellor dislocated his shoulder and defensive back Richard Sherman hyper-extended his elbow; however both stars returned to the game. But the now banged-up Legion of Boom will have to face one of the NFL’s most potent offenses.

This could be the immovable object vs. the unstoppable force, part two. The Seahawks will have to stop the clever Bill Belichick play calling with Tom Brady’s legendary arm at the helm.

Last time the Super Bowl was held in Arizona was in 2007, when the then undefeated Patriots fell to Eli Manning’s underdog New York Giants.

You may remember the David Tyree Helmet catch, late in the fourth quarter on a desperate third down, Manning, on the verge of being sacked, threw a bomb to Tyree who caught the ball by the top of the helmet while in mid air and managed to keep possession.

The play would lead to a Plaxico Burress touchdown with 35 seconds left to seal a Giants win.

This Super Bowl, the battle of the dynasties is amongst us.

No Super Bowl has ever gone overtime, expect that to change Feb. 1.

Final Prediction: Seattle: 31, New England: 28 (OT)

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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Pima dominates Eastern Arizona

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Pima dominates Eastern Arizona

By CALEB FOSTER

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team jumped to a 7-2 overall record and 3-2 conference record with a win Dec. 6.

The Aztecs were scheduled to play at Cochise College on Dec. 10. The game took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.

Sophomore center Murphy Gershman has led the Aztecs, posting a double-double in every ACCAC conference game. Bench play has been another strong force.

During the Dec. 6 game, Pima rode a double-digit halftime lead to beat Eastern Arizona College 90-81 at home.

The victory came behind a dominating performance by Gershman, who posted a 34-point, 14-rebound double-double. He controlled the paint all night, scoring 21 of his points under the basket.

Sophomores Matt O’Boyle and Bryan Cervantes both scored in double digits. O’Boyle had 15 and Cervantes had 14 and six rebounds on the night.

Sophomore Andres Marquez had nine points of his own.

Freshman Dorian Paige scored 15 points off the bench to help the Aztecs in the win. Three of Paige’s points came from a buzzer beater right before the half.

The Aztecs had a slow start on offense in their Dec. 3 home game against Glendale Community College. After fighting early-game miscues, they got back on track to earn an 82-67 win.

Gershman came away with a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double. He also had four assists and two blocks.

O’Boyle and Cervantes both finished with 12 points.

Freshman Justin Martion led Pima in scoring, with 16 points off the bench on 6-for-9 shooting. Paige added 13 points off the bench with 4-for-4 shooting.

In a road game on Nov. 25, Pima fell to Tohono O’Odham Community College, 74-84.

Murphy Gresham

Sophomore center Murphy Gershman shoots Nov. 22 against Phoenix. (Larry Guarano/Aztec Press)

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Athletic Voice: Try my sparkle ‘sports’

Athletic Voice: Try my sparkle ‘sports’

By JAMIE VERWYS

There is much to be said about an athlete’s sweat-soaked fight for victory. Getting dirty in a game is a nod to humans’ primal nature.

But who says your sports can’t have a little sparkle? I want my no-pain, no-gain to have a metaphorical little bow, and I’m not going to wear cleats.

Before you roll your basketball in glitter paint, I’ll let you in on three of my favorite “non-sports.” They’ll make you feel good without messing up your hair.

Extreme shopping

Shopping isn’t technically a sport but no one can tell me it’s not a physical activity. You are walking while you are browsing, which we know burns calories.

Push yourself to lift every item that grabs your attention. Consider that stack of clothes as weights pumping you to bigger muscles.

Turn up the heat by making a thrift store your impromptu gym. You’ll spend more calorie-burning time searching for cute items.

Challenge yourself to try on everything you like. Taking clothes off, putting them back on and checking all angles in the mirror must burn some calories.

Cycling

Cycling is undeniably physical. That doesn’t mean you need to strap on Spandex or a mountain biking helmet. Just cruise.

Ladies, you can wrap your hair in a cute, retro scarf to maintain your do.

This relatively easy physical activity can improve your overall health. On top of that, you can travel to all the fabulous things you do in an eco-friendly way.

There are some pretty styling bikes on the market and you can always add some personal flair.

Hula hooping

My favorite physical activity is an extension of dance, a wonderful workout in itself. Hula hooping ain’t just the thing your grandma did for fun. Hooping has become a fad in the world of self-improvement.

With a little practice and hitting yourself in the face a significant number of times, you can learn tons of tricks. You’ll look super graceful without working up too much of a sweat.

If you’re unconvinced of the health benefits, or maybe just think hula hooping is too “girly,” consider this. Legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is a self-proclaimed “hooper” and narrates a documentary titled “The Hooping Life.”

You might need to be a jock to conquer traditional sports but it’s not required for having some fun while bettering your body.

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Athletes named All-American

Athletes named All-American

Pima Community College athletes  continued to win accolades in December.

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Shannon Shields (Photos courtesy of PCC)

Women’s soccer player Shannon Shields, a sophomore forward, was named first team NJCAA All-American. She was also named to the Second Team of the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire Junior College Women’s Division I All-American list when the National Soccer Coaches Association of America released its All-American teams.

Shields helped lead the Aztecs to a Region I, Division I championship and a trip to the NJCAA national tournament. The women’s soccer team finished with a 16-6-2 overall record and an 11-0-1 record at home.

Shields was named ACCAC Division I Player of the Year and First Team All-ACCAC Conference. She played and started in 23 of the 24 games this season, and led the team in points (50) and goals scored (21) and also had eight assists on the year.

In other women’s soccer news, sophomore midfielder Sarah Dunbar and sophomore forward Rachel Ridlinghafer were selected to the Junior College Division I All-West Region team. Dunbar and Ridlinghafer both earned Second Team All-ACCAC/Region I in October.

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Arturo Vega

Men’s soccer player Arturo Vega, a sophomore midfielder, was named to the 2014 NSCAA/Continental Tire Junior College Men’s Division I First Team, and selected First Team for the Junior College Division I All-West Region. He was earlier named a second team NJCAA All-American

Vega was ACCAC Conference Player of the Year and named to the First Team All-ACCAC. He helped lead the Aztecs to the NJCAA national tournament after Pima posted a 21-5-1 season. Vega started in all 27 games and scored nine goals. He led the team in points (25) and assists (seven).

Pg10-Pilgrim-Volleyball honor

Kaysee Pilgrim

Volleyball player Kaysee Pilgrim, a sophomore middle blocker, was named to the honorable mention team. She led the Aztecs with 261 kills, 96 blocks and 324.5 points, and was named First-Team All-ACCAC Conference and selected to the All-Region I, Division II team.

Pilgrim helped Pima to a 16-15 overall record and its best finish in program history at the Region I, Division II tournament. The Aztecs took second place behind Glendale Community College, the eventual NJCAA Division II national champion.

-Compiled from press releases

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From corn fields to coaching

From corn fields to coaching

By BETO HOYOS

As a teen, Pima Community College women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus participated in multiple sports.

“I grew up in the corn fields of Iowa,” he said. “My high school was so small that we were almost expected to play every sport because we needed the bodies.” Holthaus developed into a talented basketball player and parlayed that skill into a two-year opportunity close to home at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.

He then made his way to Phoenix and played basketball for Grand Canyon University. After graduating in 1995, he taught elementary school in Phoenix for a few years. His wife Jennifer, a University of Arizona graduate, convinced him to move south. “I moved to Tucson because my wife went to the UA,” he said.

Holthaus taught and coached at Flowing Wells High School for seven years, then worked as a UA women’s basketball assistant coach for two years. “When you’re a Division I coach, you’re gone from your family a lot and at the time my kids were really small,” he said.

A coaching position opened at PCC in 2006, and Holthaus took a chance. “It was a situation where I wanted to be around my family more and it just happened to work out,” he said.

“It came with about a $50,000 pay cut but since then we’ve worked it out to where I can be here full time.” Holthaus said he draws inspiration from his wife and four children, and works hard every day because of them.

His oldest child is 13 and his youngest is 18 months old. “Yeah, we have a full house,” he said.

Coaches often get credit for teaching but Holthaus said his players always manage to teach him things. “I enjoy coaching because I feel like I still learn things,” he said.

“My biggest satisfaction in being the Pima coach is helping kids move on to a four-year university, especially if they want to keep playing basketball.”

Basketball can help pay for an education, he said, “which in the big picture is the most important thing.”

Sophomore guard Jayla Brown said Holthaus has a way of connecting with players on and off the court. “I absolutely love how he pushes me past what I’m comfortable with,” she said

Holthaus said female athletes still face challenges. “Exposure and funding has a long way to go, and there’s not as much professional opportunity as there is for men,” he said. His biggest personal challenge is holding himself to a high standard so he’ll be a good role model for the young women he coaches, Holthaus said.

“I just always want to be here for them, so that when they graduate and years down they can look back and still count on me and still invite me to weddings,” he added.

“He’s a great coach,” freshmen guard Gabby Banales said. “He actually cares about us and wants us to do good things away from basketball.”

During his time at PCC, Holthaus has seen the basketball program evolve and gain positive recognition. “We’ve established a good reputation, not just locally but nationally,” he said.

“We’re usually ranked and I think that makes it easier to recruit because people associate success with Pima.” Having more players wanting to join the team means he must be a little pickier, but Holthaus called that “a good problem to have.” Holthaus and his team take part in many community events, such as volunteering at local elementary schools to promote an active lifestyle. “We go to different schools and participate in recess, because they keep cutting programs for PE,” he said. “We go and keep the young kids active so they’re not just sitting around.” It bothers him when schools drop physical education programs. “It’s extremely important to me,” he said. “It seems like physical activity is becoming less and less important to people.”

Head women's basketball coach Todd Holthaus watches from the sideline during the Phoenix College game on Nov. 22 Pima won the home opener 50-38

Head women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus watches from the sideline during the Phoenix College game on Nov. 22 Pima won the home opener 50-38

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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Team earns sportsmanship award

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Team earns sportsmanship award

By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team held its own against the No. 2 team in the country on Nov. 19 but didn’t finish with a win.

The seventh-seeded Aztecs lost 4-1 to No. 2 Monroe College (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the final Pool B match of the NJCAA national tournament in Florida. At an awards ceremony Nov. 22, Pima received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

Monroe went on to win the tournament, defeating No. 1 Iowa Western 2-1 in the championship game. After losing the first game of the tournament, Pima had to beat Monroe by four goals to force a playoff match or win by five goals to move on to the semifinals.

“I’m really proud of the way we rallied and played today against the No. 2 seed,” head coach Kendra Veliz said in a press release. Sophomore Angelica Gonzalez made 10 saves and the Pima defense held its own early in the first half, but Monroe led 1-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Pima took a shot on goal within the first minute and tied the game 1-1 shortly after when freshman Devyn Hunley headed in a goal.

The goal came off a corner kick by freshman Brandi Park. Monroe pulled away with three goals by the same player in the final minutes. In the first game of the national tournament on Nov. 18, Pima took an early lead against No. 11 Owens Community College of Ohio but then played a game of catch-up.

The Aztecs tied the game near the end of the first half but surrendered three goals in the second half for a 5-2 loss. Sophomore Shannon Shields gave the Aztecs a 1-0 lead when she recovered a ball and hit a shot in the early minutes.

Owens CC tied the game 30 seconds later and took the lead at the midway mark. Sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer tied the game 2-2 when she scored on a header with minutes left in the first half.

Park had the corner kick assist. Owens CC scored three goals in the final minutes of the second half. Pima outshot Owens 19-9 and Gonzalez finished the game with four saves. Veliz said the final scores don’t reflect PCC’s quality of play in the tournament.

“I don’t think either scoreline is indicative of the way we played,” she said. The Aztecs finished the season with a 16-6-2 overall record and were 11-0-1 at the Kino North Grandstand. Shields was named ACCAC conference Player of the Year after finishing with 21 goals for the season. Veliz was named ACCAC conference Coach of the Year.

 

Team captains, from left, Nikki Reed, Sarah Dunbar and JessAnn Robinson accept the national tournament Sportsmanship Award on Pima’s behalf. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Pima showcases defense in victory

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Pima showcases defense in victory

By BETO HOYOS

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team used strong defense to pick up its second conference win.

The Aztecs (3-1, 2-0 in ACCAC conference) defeated Phoenix College 50-38 on Nov. 22 in their home opener. Pima got out to a rough start offensively but forced Phoenix College to turn the ball over 28 times.

“The girls did a good job playing defense on a night when we struggled offensively,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “Playing good defense and rebounding will carry us a long way.”

Sophomore forward Melody McLaughlin led the team with 11 points and nine rebounds. She was named ACCAC Division II player of the week on Nov. 24. Freshman forward Hayley Pryor finished with nine points and six rebounds.

In a Nov. 19 road game, the Aztecs won their first conference matchup when they defeated Chandler-Gilbert Community College 72-58. Pima grabbed 25 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded Chandler-Gilbert 47-28.

The Aztecs held a double digit lead for most of the game and held a 38-29 lead by halftime. McLaughlin finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Pryor recorded a double-double, with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Seven of the rebounds came on the offensive end. Freshman forward Shalise Fernander also had seven offensive rebounds, and finished the game with 12 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

Freshman guard Samirah Miller had 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Early in the game, freshman guard Jahnae Martin went down with a knee injury. “Jahnae got hurt about 10 minutes into the game,” Holthaus said. “She went up for a layup and got bumped. She came down awkwardly, then collapsed right away.”

The team rallied after the injury. “This is a very close team and the girls did a good job,” Holthaus said. “We got the win on the road.” Pima was scheduled to play at Tohono O’Odham Community College on Nov. 25 in Sells. The game took place after the Aztec Press went to the printer.

 

Pg15-Women's basketball-Samirah Miller

Freshman guard Samirah Miller drives to the basket. (Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano)

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MEN'S SOCCER: 'It was a terrific year for us'

MEN’S SOCCER: ‘It was a terrific year for us’

By CALEB FOSTER

The season ended Nov. 20 for the Pima Community College men’s soccer team after a loss at the NJCAA national tournament in Prescott.

The No. 5 Aztecs advanced to the tournament quarterfinals before being eliminated. They fell 5-0 to a fourth-seeded Texas team, Tyler Junior College. Tyler went on to win the national championship on Nov. 23. Pima finished the season at 21-5-1, with a 12-1-1 home record. Their 21 wins were the most in a season under head coach David Cosgrove, who’s been with the program for 18 years. The previous record for wins was 19 in 2011.

“It was a terrific year for us,” Cosgrove said in a press release. The Nov. 20 game was scoreless in the first half but went downhill for the Aztecs after play resumed.

“Tyler is very good and they were better or equal to us tonight,” Cosgrove said. “We didn’t score first and that hurt. We gave up some really bad goals.” The Aztecs opened tournament play Nov. 19 with a 2-1 comeback victory against No. 9 Community College of Baltimore County-Essex.

CCBC-Essex scored in the fifth minute for an early lead. Pima evened the score in the 24th minute when freshman Alejandro Gonzalez connected off an assist from freshman Hector Banegas. Freshman Santiago Carrillo scored the go-ahead point in the 31st minute.

Carrillo’s goal turned out to be all that was needed for the win, as the second half turned into a defensive battle. Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas had three saves in the victory, including a game-winning save in the final seconds.

During the regular season, sophomore Arturo Vega was selected ACCAC Conference Player of the Year. Cosgrove also earned his 250th win. Cosgrove called the season “a year to remember” and praised his team.

“I couldn’t be happier with the numerous marks we set this year,” he said.

“Our most wins in program history and our best home record ever. We also could have the best team GPA we’ve ever had.” The team raised expectations for Pima soccer to another level, Cosgrove added. “This group has changed the landscape,” he said.

Pg13-Men's soccer team-Beto photo

The men’s soccer team celebrates winning the regional championship on Nov. 8. (Aztec Press photo by Beto Hoyos)

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ATHLETIC VOICE: Dying player inspires fans worldwide

ATHLETIC VOICE: Dying player inspires fans worldwide

By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

“Our deepest fear is not that we are not inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Great statesman Nelson Mandela said those powerful words.

They apply to Lauren Hill, 19, who has touched many people across the world. She is not afraid to shrink so others won’t feel insecure around her, and knows that everyone is meant to shine.

Hill was diagnosed last fall with terminal brain cancer after suffering vertigo and dizziness while playing for her Ohio high school basketball team. She had no idea she had an inoperable brain tumor until she got an MRI.

She fought through into her senior year, continuing to play basketball while finishing chemotherapy and radiation.

This October, however, Hill had a follow-up exam that changed her life. Doctors told Hill and her family she had months to live.

Hill knew there was nothing anyone could do to help or make her heartache go away. She stayed humble and continued to enjoy life. She had one dream, which was to play in a college basketball game wearing the number 22 for one last time.

Hill’s dream came true.

Mount St. Joseph University, a Division III school in Cincinnati, accepted Hill onto the women’s basketball team.

The university moved up its first game of the season to Nov. 2, in case Hill’s condition worsened. The sold-out game was hosted in a bigger arena to fit 10,000 people

Hill played and scored the first points wearing number 22, just as she dreamed.

The amount of love shown when she scored was heart fulfilling.

Her story is now worldwide, crossing through high schools, colleges and professional basketball organizations.

Hill has no set date for when her time might end, but she’s living the dream as if she’s still chasing it. Hill keeps smiling but is devastated that she will be leaving the people she loves most.

Her story offers motivation and hope to those who’ve heard.

Most athletes take their sport for granted and don’t really understand how lucky they are to play the game they love. I know this for a fact because I am one of those athletes.

Hill has not only inspired me but athletes across the world to appreciate the moments we have.

 

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WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs fall at nationals

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs fall at nationals

By ADRANNA BARRIENTEZ

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team held its own against the No. 2 team in the country on Nov. 19 but didn’t finish with a win.

At an awards ceremony Nov. 22, Pima received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

The seventh-seeded Aztecs lost 4-1 to No. 2 Monroe College (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the final Pool B match of the NJCAA national tournament in Florida.

Monroe went on to win the tournament, defeating No. 1 Iowa Western 2-1 in the championship game.

After losing the first game of the tournament, Pima had to beat Monroe by four goals to force a playoff match or win by five goals to move on to the semifinal round.

“I’m really proud of the way we rallied and played today against the No. 2 seed,” head coach Kendra Veliz said in a press release.

Sophomore Angelica Gonzalez made 10 saves and the Pima defense held its own early in the first half, but Monroe led 1-0 at halftime. The Aztecs managed two shots on goal.

In the second half, Pima took a shot on goal within the first minute and tied the game 1-1 shortly after when freshman Devyn Hunley headed in a goal. The goal came off a corner kick by freshman Brandi Park.

Monroe kept the Aztecs on their heels and pulled away with three goals by the same player in the final minutes.

In the first game of the national tournament on Nov. 18, Pima took an early lead against No. 11 Owens Community College of Ohio but then played a game of catch-up.

The Aztecs tied the game near the end of the first half but surrendered three goals in the second half for a 5-2 loss.

Sophomore Shannon Shields gave the Aztecs a 1-0 lead when she recovered a ball and hit a shot in the early minutes. Owens CC tied the game 30 seconds later and took the lead at the midway mark.

Sophomore Rachel Ridlinghafer tied the game 2-2 when she scored on a header with minutes left in the first half. Park had the corner kick assist.

Owens CC scored three goals in the final minutes of the second half.

Pima outshot Owens 19-9 and Gonzalez finished the game with four saves.

Veliz said the final scores don’t reflect PCC’s quality of play in the tournament.

“I don’t think either scoreline is indicative of the way we played,” she said.

The Aztecs finished the season with a 16-6-2 overall record and were 11-0-1 at the Kino North Grandstand.

Shields was named ACCAC conference Player of the Year after finishing with 21 goals for the season. Veliz was named ACCAC conference Coach of the Year.

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MEN’S SOCCER: Season ends after playoff loss

MEN’S SOCCER: Season ends after playoff loss

By CALEB FOSTER

The season ended Nov. 20 for the Pima Community College men’s soccer team after a loss at the NJCAA national tournament in Prescott.

The No. 5 Aztecs advanced to the tournament quarterfinals before being eliminated. They fell 5-0 to a fourth-seeded Texas team, Tyler Junior College.

Pima finished the season at 21-5-1, with a 12-1-1 home record.

Their 21 wins were the most in a season under head coach David Cosgrove, who’s been with the program for 18 years. The previous record for wins was 19 in 2011.

“It was a terrific year for us,” Cosgrove said in a press release.

The Nov. 20 game was scoreless in the first half but went downhill for the Aztecs after play resumed.

“Tyler is very good and they were better or equal to us tonight,” Cosgrove said. “We didn’t score first and that hurt. We gave up some really bad goals.”

The Aztecs opened tournament play Nov. 19 with a 2-1 comeback victory against No. 9 Community College of Baltimore County-Essex.

CCBC-Essex scored in the fifth minute for an early lead.

Pima evened the score in the 24th minute when freshman Alejandro Gonzalez connected off an assist from freshman Hector Banegas.

Freshman Santiago Carrillo scored the go-ahead point in the 31st minute.

Carrillo’s goal turned out to be all that was needed for the win, as the second half turned into a defensive battle.

Freshman goalkeeper Sam Kavathas had three saves in the victory, including a game-winning save in the final seconds.

During the regular season, sophomore Arturo Vega was selected ACCAC Conference Player of the Year. Cosgrove also earned his 250th win.

Cosgrove called the season “a year to remember” and praised his team’s actions on and off the field.

“I couldn’t be happier with the numerous marks we set this year,” he said. “Our most wins in program history and our best home record ever. We also could have the best team GPA we’ve ever had.”

The team raised expectations for Pima soccer to another level, Cosgrove added.

“This group has changed the landscape,” he said.

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Volleyball finishes season at 16-15

Volleyball finishes season at 16-15

By BETO HOYOS

Pima Community College’s volleyball season came to an end when they fell in three sets to Glendale Community College in the Region I Division II championship round on Nov. 8. The Aztecs took second place in the Region I Division II tournament for the first time in program history. Pima came within four points in the first set, but that would be as close as the Aztecs would get in the opening set. Glendale opened up their offense and at one point held a 20-13 lead. The Aztecs held a slim 7-5 advantage in the second set, but Glendale came back to take control. Late in the second set, Pima gave up six straight points and dropped the set. Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim finished the match with eight kills and four blocks, while sophomore Alexis Ammermen had 16 digs and six kills. Pima faced elimination twice on Nov. 7 but rallied to beat Scottsdale Community College in five sets. The Aztecs dropped the first two sets but came back to take three straight sets and pick up the victory. The match went down to the wire before Pima took the final set by two points. Pilgrim finished the game with 14 kills and seven blocks, while Ammermen finished with 12 digs, six blocks and three aces. Freshmen Brooklyn Scarborough contributed 12 kills, while sophomore Liz Mata had 55 assists and 18 digs. Earlier in the day, Pima defeated South Mountain Community College to stay alive in the tournament. The Aztecs held slim leads throughout the first and the second sets en route to a three-set sweep. Pima finished 16-15 for the season.

Angel Chavez makes a diving save.

Angel Chavez makes a diving save. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

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