By DEANNA SHERMAN
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (17-13, 14-8 in ACCAC) has sealed the No.1 seed in the Region I, Division II tournament.
The Aztecs pulled out an exciting win Feb. 24 against Scottsdale Community College, 66-62, in the final regular-season game.
With under a minute left in the game, the score was tied 62-62. Freshman Kristin Baldwin then scored a jump shot, putting Pima up 64-62 with 39.6 second left on the clock. Scottsdale tried to tie the game, but missed its shot.
Pima freshman Shalise Fernander was fouled as she came down with the defensive rebound. Fernander sealed the game with two clutch free-throws, putting the Aztecs up 64-62 with 21.1 seconds remaining.
“I’m really proud of this group and happy for our sophomores,” Pima head coach Todd Holthaus said in a press release.
“We have overcome many adversities and to be standing as the No. 1 seed is a testament to what this team is made of,” he added. “At this point, the post-season is gravy. The second season is always the most fun.”
Region I, Division II tournament play will begin Wednesday, March 4, at the West Campus gym. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.
Sophomore Melody McLaughlin expressed confidence before the Feb. 24 game.
“We, as a team, feel well prepared and excited knowing if we win tomorrow it gives us the first seed for playoffs,” she said. “I’m excited, but emotional at the same time because this year has flown by and I don’t want it to end.”
PCC entered the Phoenix game ranked No. 20 in the nation.
On Feb. 21, the Aztecs easily took down South Mountain Community College in Phoenix by more than tripling their opponent’s score, 100-31.
Fernander led the Aztecs with 26 points while freshman Heather Rogers had 25 points of her own.
At the time, Mesa Community College held a share of the No. 1 seed with Pima. The tie-breaker went to the Aztecs for sweeping Mesa during the regular season.
Pima came home with a loss Feb. 18, falling 82-68 to Central Arizona College in Coolidge. PCC was swept in the regular-season series after also losing to Central last month, 73-62.
The Aztecs had a rough start, trailing 41-28 at the half. They came back strong in the second, only being outscored 41-40.
On Feb. 14, Pima defeated Arizona Western College 77-53 at the West Campus gym.
Pima nearly doubled Western’s score in the second half, 42-25, and scored 30 points on three-pointers alone throughout the game.
Four Aztec players scored in double digits. Baldwin had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
In Mesa on Feb. 11, Pima finished another thrilling game against Mesa Community College 55-54.
In their previous meeting, a last-second buzzer beater secured the final score of 72-70 for Pima. This time around, a defensive play finished the game.
Down by one, Mesa attempted a buzzer shot in the last second, only to be denied when Baldwin swatted it away.
By MICKEY RAY LAMB
Men’s Golf finishes fourth
The Pima Community College Men’s Golf team placed fourth in the Chandler-Gilbert Invitational on Feb.16-17.
The event, which took place at Toka Sticks Golf Course, was hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College and won by South Mountain Community with a low score of 558. PCC scored 586.
Sophomore Anthony Moncada placed 7th in individual play with a final score of 144 (75-69), finishing six strokes better on the second day shooting a three under par.
Freshman Frankie Wu finished tied for 8th, shooting a one under par 71 on the first day and a final score of 145 (71-74).
Freshmen Will Dennis and David Rauer tied for 30th with scores of 152.
The Aztecs will compete in the Mesa Invitational hosted by Mesa Community College starting Sunday, March 3 at 11 a.m. at the Dobson Ranch Golf Course.
Women’s golf finished third again
The Pima Community College women’s golf team came in third place of their Invitational on Feb. 23. Pima has finished third in both of their tournaments so far this season.
The Aztecs finished with a team score of 709 (349-360) falling behind Mesa Community College and South Mountain College who posted scores of 610 and 659 respectively.
Sophomore Paige Valles finished in ninth place with a two-day score of 164 (79-85) during the tournament.
Pima has faced multiple issues with eligibility this season but head coach Clark Rustand sees a silver lining in it all. “It’s given an opportunity for some of our other girls to step up and play,” he said.
The three freshmen finished one after the other during the tournament Casey Morinelli finished 15th, Rachel Blount finished 16th and Carly Nelson finished 17th.
By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ
The Pima Community College’s softball team (11-4, 9-3 in ACCAC) continues to play great at home giving up only one lose so far this season. The Aztecs played Paradise Valley CC on Feb. 24 after the Aztec Press went to print.
The Aztecs split against No. 4 Phoenix College on Feb. 21 at the West Campus giving up their first home lose.
Sophomore Jackie Hernandez had a great game at the plate as she went 3 for 4. She hit an RBI double in the beginning of the game and a two-run RBI single later to put the Aztecs up 4-0. She finished with three RBIs.
Freshman Araceli Peralta scored twice on Hernandez’s hits and had an RBI single of her own. She went 2-3 with two runs and an RBI for the game.
“As a team we should be able to compete with anyone” said Peralta.
Sophomore Alexis Alfonso picked up the win as she pitched six and two-third innings giving up two runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
Freshman Odalis Orduno grabbed the save after she got the final groundout to end the game. The Aztecs dropped the second game to Phoenix College 2-6.
Orduno shut out Phoenix for the final four innings as she pitched four and two-third innings and gave up two on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Hernandez was 2 for 4 with a run scored while freshman Christina Olivas finished 1 for 3 with a run scored and Ayala went 1 for 4 with an RBI. Sophomore Taylor Fabing went 2 for 3 for the game.
The Aztecs fell 7-5 in the first game against South Mountain CC on Feb. 17.
Alfonso took the loss as she pitched one and one-third innings giving up seven runs on 11 hits. Division II Player of the Week Sophomore Keona Hunter went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and scored a triple.
Pima gave up five runs early as they lost 10-5 in the second game. Freshman Emily Robinson took the loss after she pitched three and two-third innings giving up 10 runs on 10 hits.
Orduno pitched two innings and gave up one hit.
Down 10-2 the Aztecs attempted a rally mid-way through the game.
Olivas hit a two-run home run and Fabing hit a solo homer of her own. Olivas and Fabing both finished the game 1 for 3.
Ayala was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored while Peralta was 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Sophomore Paige Castro finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Hunter helped the Aztecs to a 6-0 record for the week with doubleheader sweeps against Mesa Community College, Yavapai College and Glendale Community College.
Hunter went 9 for 17 with 10 runs scored, eight steals, three walks and three RBIs.
The Aztecs won their first game 2-1 against Glendale CC on Feb. 14. Alfonso pitched a complete-game and gave up only one run.
Ayala finished the day 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored as pitchers Alfonso and Robinson picked up the wins.
The Aztecs scored both of their runs early. Ayala hit a two-run RBI single scoring Hunter and Hernandez, Ayala finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs while Hunter went 2 for 2 with a run scored, a double and two stolen bases.
In the second game, Fabing broke a 3-3 tie when she hit a RBI leading the Aztecs to a narrow 4-3 win.
Ayala hit a double and stole third base on a passed ball to set up Fabing’s eventual game-winning hit.
Glendale took a 2-0 lead into the third but the Aztecs scored three runs to take the lead.
Olivas hit a two-run RBI double and Freshman Sierra Cuestas had a fielder’s choice RBI.
Robinson pitched a complete-game giving up three runs on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk.
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
Pima Community College Women’s Tennis team (1-4) found out the hard way that things are bigger in Texas, as Pima went down to Plano for the Texas Tournament on Feb 13 and 14. Pima had played four matches total all against ranked teams. Pima would go on to lose all four matches.
In the first match of tournament Pima would lose their first match of season the same way they won their first match of season. Pima would be shout out 9-0 by No. 13 North Central Texas College.
In the second match of tournament Pima would go up against No. 7 Seminole State College (FL). Pima would drop their second consecutive match, losing to Seminole State 8-1. Sophomore Cristina Oropeza would be the only one to deliver a victory for Pima.
The third match Pima would square off against No. 8 Collin College, Pima would lose 7-2, Oropeza and freshmen Stephanie Nickles both would go on and win their singles matches. Oropeza would go 2-2 for the tournament, giving her the best performance of the tournament.
“I was very impressed with how she played” said head coach Gretchen Schantz about Oropeza . “Especially the school played at the number two level, those girls our tough” she said.
I the four and final match, Pima would suffer some bookending. Pima would be shout out for the second time in the tournament losing to No. 2 ranked Tyler Junior College 9-0. Pima had a rough time at the tournament going 0-4, dropping them to 1-4 for season.
Both the Men and Women went up Mesa for the ACCAC Jamboree. The Jamboree was chance for Pima to get its first look at conference competition.
Pima Community College Men’s Tennis team (1-0) is pretty excited about the Jamboree after almost two weeks off since their first game of the season.
“I’m excited, it’s the first time to see all the other teams in our conference.” Said Sophomore Joshua Henkel. “I don’t think it’s going to affect us a lot. We’ve been here working hard.” He said about the long break from play.
By BRYAN OROZCO
That’s a word echoing through the Old Pueblo in an exciting roar as soccer fans attend the fourth annual FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup.
As part of Major League Soccer’s preseason, five of the league’s most dominant teams, alongside the FC Tucson semiprofessional team, are competing for the Desert Diamond Cup trophy.
The tournament kicked off Feb. 18 at the Kino Sports Complex, with play continuing each Wednesday and Saturday through Feb. 28.
Three matches take place each game day, at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at both the North Stadium and North Grandstand Stadium fields.
The five MLS teams competing this year are Seattle Sounders FC, Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake.
The Desert Diamond Cup uses a format that is familiar in the soccer world.
Each team plays every other team once in what is called the group stage. Points are awarded, with three points for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss.
The first match of the first round of the 2015 Desert Diamond cup was chock-full of what the soccer spectator wishes to see but also with what the head couch would not like to see.
The match between the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City ended in a draw, with two goals for each side. The teams accumulated seven yellow cards, including a double yellow card that resulted in a red card for Francisco Flores.
The second match of the day was less aggressive, with two yellow cards on each side. The final score was 1-0, with Real Salt Lake winning the match over the New England Revolution.
The last game of the match was the most awaited, with legions of Seattle Sounders FC fans painting the stands rave green as the Sounders took on FC Tucson.
The score was an easy 6-0 victory for the MLS team, with two goals scored by Clint Dempsey, the captain of the U.S. National Team.
Round two on Saturday seemed more packed and vibrant than the Wednesday matches.
Match one featured the Colorado Rapids against New England Revolution. The match ended in a draw, with one goal and two yellow cards for each side.
Match two saw the first goal for FC Tucson but also the second defeat as Real Salt Lake beat Tucson 3-1. Costa Rican player Álvaro Saborío scored two goals.
The third match boasted an attendance of 3,661 people, a record for the Kino North Stadium.
Sporting Kansas City took a first-half lead with two goals against the Sounders. Sporting scored the third goal in the second half to symbolically seal their victory.
However the ongoing cheers from the Seattle fans help the Sounders score two goals, which eased the pain of the 3-2 defeat.
After two game days, the tournament standings had Real Salt Lake in first place with six points, Sporting Kansas City in second with four points, Seattle Sounders FC in third with three points, Colorado Rapids in forth with two points, New England Revolution in fifth with one point and FC Tucson in sixth with zero points.
After all teams have played, the points are calculated to determine seeding. If two teams have the same number of points after group play, goal differential is used to decide which team receives the higher seed.
The championship match will take place on Feb. 28.
Both the Seattle Sounders FC and Colorado Rapids have previously lifted the Desert Diamond Cup trophy. The other two past champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire, are not participating in this year’s tournament.
Game-day tickets cost $18 and can be purchased online at shop.fctucson.com. Family four-packs are available for $60.
Visit fctucson.com for additional information about the tournament or FC Tucson.
By CALEB FOSTER
Athletes face the threat of concussions or other serious injuries every time they walk on the field, court or ring. Is playing worth the risk?
Football is regarded as one of the most dangerous sports, especially when played at the professional level.
On Feb. 1, the New England Patriots outlasted the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
The play that most people will remember came at the end of the game, when Seattle turned the ball over on the one-yard line with 26 seconds left.
But for those looking at football through a different lens, two plays earlier in the game were much more important.
The first came as Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane intercepted quarterback Tom Brady and tried returning the ball. Lane was hit at the end of the play, resulting in a season-ending compound fracture in his wrist.
The second play came as Patriot’s receiver Julian Edelman absorbed a huge blow from Seattle safety Kam Chancellor. Edelman would not say whether the play resulted in a concussion, citing team policy.
In 2014, a federal court case brought to life an even darker side of the sport.
The NFL released a report stating that nearly three in 10 former players will develop debilitating brain conditions, including dementia.
It also said the ex-players will be struck with health issues earlier, and at least twice as often, as the general public.
With all the injuries in football, it is obvious why some people believe the game is too dangerous.
Former NFL player and coach Herm Edwards argues that risks are part of the game. He also says he would take those risks again if he could.
The NFL, through rule changes and ever-evolving equipment, claims to have reduced concussions by 13 percent between the 2012 and 2013 seasons. During the 2012 season there was a total of 261 diagnosed concussions in games and practices. Whereas in 2013 that number went down to 228.
However, there is no real way to verify that figure since it is impossible to know if players are hiding concussions or are told to hide them by coaches. The truth is in every game there very well could be multiple unreported concussions.
Should these risks be a complete deterrent for athletes?
The answer is not so simple, and should always be left up to an individual’s decision.
By WILL WILLCOXSON
Eleven former Pima Community College football players have committed to different four-year universities.
Most notable are defensive lineman Kendall Huey and defensive back Markell Simmons who have committed to play football at the University of Utah. Simmons had four interceptions last season, two of them for touchdowns.
Utah finished with a 9-4 record last season, with a record of 5-4 in the Pacific 12 conference, and ended with a 45-10 victory over the Colorado State Rams on Nov. 29, 2014.
Full List of transfers:
Kendall Huey, DL – University of Utah
Markell Simmons, DB – University of Utah
Baylor Hahn, OL – University of Rhode Island
David Tapia, LB – St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN (signed)
Tyler Bigot, OL – Northland College in Ashland, WI
Antony Thompson, RB – Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA
Cedric Turner, DB – University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, VA
Max Shepherd, DB – McKendree University in Lebanon, IL
Donovan Vance, OL – Quincy University in Quincy, IL
Stockly Session, DB – University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, VA
Tommy Romack, LB – University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, VA
Pima signed 42 athletes to the football team for the 2015 season. Twenty-six of the new signees are from Arizona.
Eleven of the signees come from Hawaii, and one came from Guam.
“Our class is deep and tremendous. Coach Linden did an outstanding job,” Pima head coach Jim Monaco said.
“We feel really confident especially at the secondary and linebacker positions and how we can develop our defensive line. It’s exciting on paper and hopefully we do Pima Community College proud.”
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
When the New England Patriots wrapped up a 28-24 Super Bowl victory against the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 1, the NFL finished its worst PR season ever.
New England won its fourth title while the NFL was conducting yet another investigation of the controversial franchise, ruining the integrity of the game.
Before the scoreboard hit zero in Super Bowl XLIX and before the NFL could pack up and try to fix its image next year, a fight broke out on the field.
At that moment, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell were officially tainted — possibly past repair.
During the 2014 season, 20-plus NFL players had serious run-ins with the law.
After two high-caliber players were suspended by their teams in connection with domestic violence cases, the NFL initiated a new domestic violence policy that was never used during the remainder of the season.
The controversies began when superstar player Ray Rice was arrested two weeks after the 2014 Super Bowl.
Surveillance video showed Rice punching his fiancé in the face and dragging her unconscious out of an elevator.
The NFL played judge and jury, first giving Rice a slap on the wrist. After the video went viral, the NFL violated its own policy and suspended Rice indefinitely. Currently, Rice has won his appeal to be reinstated into the league, and has filed a lawsuit against the NFL.
It remains to be seen whether he will ever play professional football again.
The 2014 playoffs were also littered in controversy, topped by the now-infamous DeflateGate scandal.
Conspiracy theories abound as the league investigates suspicions that the Patriots deliberately used underinflated balls during the AFC championship game.
At press time, the NFL was still investigating the accusations.
Goodell and the NFL saw the 2014 season burst into flames before it started and continuously snowball from there.
Now the league will try to salvage its image.
When the NFL airs season highlights filled with Odell Beckham Jr. and a ton of Aaron Rodgers bias, remember that the real highlights involve courtrooms and investigations.
It will be interesting to see how the league and Goodell address the issues they faces this off season and what kind of new rules will be put in place. At this point it will take a lot to get the focus of the press and fans back on the field.
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
The Pima Community College baseball team 3-5(1-3 ACCAC) is looking to continue their winning ways after going 34-25 (22-16 ACCAC) and taking a trip to regionals last season.
Pima is going to attempt to compete for a regional title with its pitching game, with sophomores Chris Kucko and Marcel Renteria leading the fold.
Coach Jason Hisey does have a few a concerns, but still sees tons of promise this season.
“I’m cautiously optimistic, but excited for the season,” he said.
Pima split their games against GateWay Community College in their first road conference double header on Feb. 10.
Pima dropped the first game against Gateway 4-2 as Kucko’s cold start continued and he dropped to 0-3 for the season.
In the second game Pima was able hold off GateWay in a 4-1 win. Sophomore Ryan Norrix got the start and sophomore Roy Aguirre got the win and earned his first victory of season.
On Feb. 7, Pima lost both games against Scottsdale Community College, in their first taste of conference play.
In the first game Pima lost a heart breaker 11-9. The Aztecs had a 6-0 lead after the top of the third, and held 8-2 after the fifth. Scottsdale had six runs in the eighth and Pima never recovered.
In the second game Pima just couldn’t keep up as they were routed 12-2 in seven innings as freshmen Vinnie Tarantola took his first loss of the season.
Pima’s first game of year was delayed due to weather on Feb. 5.
Neither weather nor Utah State University-Eastern could stop the Aztecs as they dominated both games and took home their first wins of the season.
In the first game Pima stole the victory 10-3.Sophomore Mike Hast picked up the season’s first win with a save from Agurrie.
In game two Pima continued its domination of Eastern Utah in a 12-1 victory in seven innings.Pima put up five points twice; once first and third innings.
Freshman Ivan Estrella helped by scoring three runs, which made it five total for Estrella in the doubleheader. Norrix would get the start for Pima and would go on to have a complete game.
“We’re a little thin in the bullpin, so it was good to have Norrix throw the complete game,” Hisey said.
On Feb. 3, Pima couldn’t have opened their season any worse.
Coach Hisey was suspended from the first game due to a former player being ejected in the last game of the season last year. Pima also came into the game having had their first game canceled due to weather.
In the first inning of the season against South Mountain Community College, Pima gave up five runs and ended up losing both games against SMCC.
In the first game Pima lost 8-2 as they never recovered from the first inning and Kucko took the first loss as the season.
In the second game it was a much more competitive score, finishing 9-4.
Pima was behind the eight ball again as they were down 3-0 going into the fifth and sophomore Devin Harrison hit a home run to left field to tie the score. Freshman Al Cruz scored Pima’s fourth run of the inning not long after.
South Mountain went on to tie in the sixth and then take the lead in the seventh, finally putting the game out of reach in the eight.
By DEANNA SHERMAN
The Pima Community College softball team (6-1, 4-0 in ACCAC) picked up its second straight conference sweep on Feb. 10 at the West Campus.
The Aztecs beat Mesa Community College as the pitching staff of sophomore Alexis Alfonso and freshman Odalis Orduno held the Mesa offense.
Sophomore Brianna Quiroz went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and a sacrifice for the day.
Alfonso picked up the win after she went four innings and gave up one run (one earned) on two hits with two strikeouts.
Pima started off ACCAC conference play on Feb. 3 in a big way as it swept Scottsdale Community College at the West Campus.
Alfonso pitched a complete-game shutout as the Aztecs won the first game 1-0.
Down 5-3 heading into the fourth, the Aztecs loaded the bases and Fabing stepped up and hit a grand-slam to right field to put the Aztecs up 7-5.
PCC played three games to open the 2015 season on Jan. 31 in Henderson, NV.
The Aztecs went 2-1 in the first day of the College of Southern Nevada Kick-Off Classic.
Freshman Sierra Cuestas finished 7 for 7 with a walk in the three games.
Sophomore Jackie Hernandez was 5 for 12 with five RBIs while freshman Araceli Peralta went 6 for 9 with seven runs scored.
Pima lost the final game of the day against the College of Southern Nevada 13-4 in five innings.
Alfonzo took the loss (1-1) after pitching 2/3 of an inning.
Peralta was 1 for 2 with two runs and an RBI for the game.
Cuestas was 2 for 2 with a run scored.
Pima’s second game went into extra innings but the Aztecs upset No. 18 Salt Lake City Community College (Division I) 6-5 in eight innings.
The Aztecs trailed 4-0 after three innings and broke the tie in the eighth when Christine Olivas (Freshman) had the game-winning RBI.
Feb. 12: Yavapai College,
West Campus, 1 p.m.
Feb. 14: Glendale CC,
West Campus, noon
Feb. 17: @ South Mountain CC, Phoenix, 1 p.m.
Feb. 21: Phoenix College,
West Campus, noon
Feb. 24: Paradise Valley CC,
West Campus, 1 p.m.
By DEANNA SHERMAN
The Spring semester has proven to be an exciting one so far as the Aztecs look to close out their season strong.
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (13-12, 10-7 in ACCAC) lost in dramatic fashion to Cochise College in overtime 72-71 Feb. 7.
The Aztecs came out strong in the first half with explosive defense holding Cochise to just 22% shooting.
Coming into the second half leading 30-18 Pima’s momentum shifted as Cochise slowly began to take control of the game.
Under pressure Freshman, Gabby Banales made a pair of free throws with 1:14 left putting the Aztecs ahead 63-61. Cochise then forced the overtime tying the game up 63-63.In the extra period neither team pulled away going basket for basket until Cochise hit a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left taking the lead 72-71. Freshman Samirah Miller went for a last second half court shot but fell short.
Melody McLaughlin (Sophomore) and Kristin Baldwin (Freshman) each finished with a double-double. McLaughlin with 26 points and 10 rebounds and Baldwin with 10 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Banales and Freshman Shalise Fernander each had 11 points of their own.
On Feb.4 Pima’s four game winning streak came to an end in a loss to No. 9 ranked team in Division I, Eastern Arizona College in Coolidge, 66-54.
Banales hit a pair of important three-pointers gaining a lead in the second half but with around five minutes left the Aztecs couldn’t find a way to score, allowing Eastern to out score the Aztecs 21-8 to end the game.
Banales had the team’s highest score with 14 points.
The Aztecs came home with a win Jan. 31, defeating Glendale Community College 49-48.
It was the Aztecs’ fourth straight win and an extra sweet victory after their loss in overtime to Glendale back in December.
Pima came into the second half down 30-26. Midway through the second-half the Aztec’s went on a 13-0 run, out-scoring Glendale 23-18 to finish the game. Banales led the Aztecs with a team-high 13 points.
At home on Jan. 28, PCC easily took down Tohono O’Odham Community College, 77-44.
Leading 45-16 at the half, Pima gave up only 16 points in the second half. Sophomore Jayla Brown ended strong with a three-point-play with 48.4 seconds left.
Five Aztecs scored double-digits, and two recorded double-doubles. NJCAA National Player of the Week Melody McLaughlin had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Alexa Arndt (Sophomore) had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Banales scored a game-high 18 points while Fernander and Brown each scored 12 points.
By ALFRED DICOCHEA III
The Pima Community College (1-0) is bringing in a veteran men’s team into 2015, as everyone is returning from their 26th place performance at last year’s national tournament.
Pima is looking to upstage last year’s performance as experience will be a key.
One of the returning players, sophomore Richard Foitik, is all-in for this upcoming season.
“I’m excited, I’m ready for season to start,” he said. “I’m ready to do well.”
Foitik feels that the team is coming along much better this season.
“I feel we’re more dominant, we have a lot more experienced players. All the hard practice that we’ve been doing it’s really paying off,” he said.
Pima had a strong showing against Imperial Valley College as they produced a shut out in both singles and doubles, Feb. 7.
Pima went 6-0 in singles, but it didn’t come easy as most of the matches were tight.
Even though it was a shutout victory there were a few tight matches. Notably in the No.1 singles match Foitik defeated his opponent in the first two sets with a 6-3 game score in each of them.
Sophomore Juan Bravo survived a tie-breaker in the last match to hold on to the shut out.
Bravo also faced a tough match with a third-set tiebreaker in which he defeated his opponent 6-3, 2-6, (10-5) in the No. 4 singles match.
In doubles it was a lot less nerve racking as Pima went 3-0 with two of the three not allowing Imperial to get single game point.
Foitik and doubles partner Francisco Ton dominated in doubles play shutting out their opponents 8-0.
The Pima Community College women’s team (1-0) who is coming off their 17th place finish in last year’s national tournament, is looking to win a Regional championship.
With sophomore Yanseli Alameda returning after her national tournament quarterfinal performance, and freshman Susan Fox the season looks promising.
Head coach Gretchen Schantz is as ready as always for the season and optimistic about the upcoming schedule.
“I’m always excited for the season to begin,” he said. “We play the top schools to learn how to deal with different challenges.”
Schantz holds the standard at competing in the regional championship as a standard.
“We’re always competing for the regional championship,” he said. “We work hard all season to compete at our highest level during the regional tournament.”
Pima had a dominating performance in their opener against Imperial Valley College (0-1) on Feb. 7 as they produced a shut out in both singles and doubles play.
In singles play Pima went 6-0 and not allowing more than one game Point in any the matches.
Doubles had a similar outcome as Pima went 3-0 and giving up nothing more than two game points in any their matches.
Feb. 13-14: @ Texas Tournament, Plano, all day
Feb. 20: @ ACCAC Jamboree, Mesa CC, Mesa, all day
Feb. 26: @ Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 20: @ ACCAC Jamboree, Mesa CC, Mesa, all day
By CALEB FOSTER
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (17-8, 9-8 in ACCAC conference) snapped their four game losing streak behind a huge performance from Sophomore Murphy Gershman.
Gershman was named ACCAC player of the week for the third time adding to his resume as the top player for the Aztecs this season.
Pima will rely on him to lead them as they wrap up their last few games of the regular season which ends later this month.
In their game against Eastern Arizona College Gershman set the season record for both points and rebounds with 45 and 22, respectively.
The Aztecs swept Cochise College this season with their dominant 91-68 victory on Feb. 7. The win marked their second in a row after breaking a four-game losing strike.
Sophomore Bryan Cervantes racked up a game high 27 points in the victory shooting 5 for 9 from beyond the arc.Gershman played a dominant game again, posting a 21 point 16 rebound double-double.
Sophomore Matt O’Boyle, who was kept scoreless in the first half finished with 14 points in the second half. He went 4 for 8 in the 3-point range helping the Aztecs stretch their lead.
Gershman lead the Aztecs to a 96-85 victory over Eastern Arizona on Feb. 4.
Not only was it a crucial win, sweeping Eastern Arizona and getting back on track with their season, but the Aztecs had a standout performance by Gershman who dropped 45 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Gershman was dominant and dynamic on the court hitting three 3-pointers and converting on three 3-point plays in the victory.
The Aztecs led 44-39 at half and battled through the second half with crucial performances by freshman Dorian Paige with 11 points and sophomore Andres Marquez with 10. Two well timed runs helped secure the victory. Sophomore Esteban Lopez finished with eight points and eight rebounds on the night.
The Aztecs added a loss to their season as they fell 71-64 on the road against Glendale Community College on Jan. 31.
Pima trailed by two at halftime but was unable to rally in the second half to win the game. The Aztecs split their games with Glendale, winning their first meeting of the season in December.
Gershman finished with a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double on the night. Cervantes added nine points and five rebounds.
The Aztecs dropped their home game on Jan. 28 against Tohono O’Odham 77-92. The game, stocked full of emotions and attitudes, was hard fought. In the end the Aztecs were unable to stop Tohono O’Odham from beyond three-point range, giving up 15 three-pointers.
The Aztecs trailed 49-39 at halftime and managed to get the game within five points part way through the second half but ultimately came up short.
O’Boyle struggled with his shooting, scoring 11, but had opportunities throughout the second half.
Gershman finished with a game-high 26 points, seven rebounds and three steals. He shot well from the line, going 13-15 on the night.
Cervantes dropped 21 points, with five coming from beyond the arc.
The Aztecs will host Mesa CC on Feb. 11 after the Aztec Press goes to print.
By MICKEY RAY LAMB
Transfers and ineligibility are misfortunes that can plague coaches. Such is the case for Pima Community College women’s golf head coach Rick Price.
“We’re not near as strong as we could be,” Price said in a Feb. 2 phone interview. “We’ve lost a lot of good players this season.”
The team has just four players for the 2015 season, returning sophomore Paige Valles, freshman Rachel Blount, Casey Morinelli and Carley Nelson.
The Aztecs took 3rd in their first meet on Feb. 9-10 when Paradise Valley Community College hosted five teams at the Legends at Arrowhead course in Cave Creek, Ariz.
Pima fell behind Mesa Community College and South Mountain Community College with a team score of 726, netting 363 each day.
Blount led the Aztecs with a total of 174 landing her 10th in the tournament. She hit an 86 on Monday and an 88 the next day.
Valles followed close in 11th place with 175 points. She improved on her first day score of 88 with an 87 the next day.
Pima Community College’s men’s golf team is looking to build off its 19th place finish at nationals last season.
“I’m really exited about this team,” head coach Clark Rustand said. “We’ve got some good returning players who have shown a lot of promise.”
Returning for the Aztecs 2015 season are sophomores Anthony Moncada, Benjamin Bradford, Gabriel Borboa and Robert Swanson.
Also joining the team this season are freshmen Aaron Ramonett, David Raur, Frankie Wu and University of Arizona freshman transfer Will Dennis.
Pima placed fourth in a field of five teams on Feb. 5-6 at the Glendale Invitational hosted by Glendale Community College at Sun City Golf Course with a team score of 591 (296-295).
Anthony Moncanda took lowest score for the Aztecs with a two-day score of 147 (73-74), which placed him 12th in individual play.
Frankie Wu found his groove scoring under par on the second day placing him in 13th with a two-day score of 148 (77-71).
Two meets are to come in the following weeks.
Feb. 16-17: @Chandler-Gilbert CC, Phoenix, noon
Feb. 22-23: Pima CC hosting,
Silverbell Golf Course, Tucson, 11 a.m.
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.
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.