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Sports Briefs: Universities  recruit 12  PCC athletes

Sports Briefs: Universities recruit 12 PCC athletes

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Compiled by Steven Fowler

Twelve Pima Community College student-athletes announced their commitment to transfer to four-year universities when they signed national letters of intent Feb. 3-4.

MEN’S SOCCER

Sophomore forward Jason Romero signed with the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

Romero played his freshman year at Yavapai College before transferring to Pima last season. He helped lead the Aztecs to a third-place finish at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in November and a 21-4-2 overall record.

He was named an NJCAA Division I first team All-American and was selected ACCAC Division I Player of the Year. He set a Pima men’s soccer record by scoring 32 goals and also recorded 12 assists during the season.

Sophomore midfielder Angel Heredia signed a letter of intent to play at the University of California-Irvine.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

Sophomore forward Devyn Hunley will transfer to the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP).

Hunley was selected second team NJCAA Division I All-American this season, and earned first-team All-ACCAC/Region I honors in back-to-back years.

She was a starter in all 24 games, and helped lead the Aztecs to their best record in program history at 20-2-2 and a second straight appearance in the NJCAA Division I national tournament. She scored a team-leading 15 goals and also had 10 assists.

FOOTBALL

Nine players signed to play at four-year universities, including Oregon State University:

• Timmy Hernandez (WR/DB) – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)

• Wesley Payne (LB) – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)

• Landry Payne (FS) – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)

• Alex Rios (OL) – East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)

• Deontay Townsend (RB) – Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Texas)

• Eric Dedrick (TE) – Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, Mo.)

• Markell Simmons (SS) – Texas Christian University (Ft. Worth, Texas)

• Darrell “D.J.” Clark (Slot) – Grambling State University (Grambling, La.)

• Isaiah Birkel (LB) – Black Hills State University (Spearfish, S.D.)

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SOFTBALL: No. 9 Aztecs sweep Mesa doubleheader

SOFTBALL: No. 9 Aztecs sweep Mesa doubleheader

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By JASON WEIR

No. 9 Pima Community College (7-5) swept its Feb. 9 doubleheader at Mesa Community College.

The Aztecs won the first game 8-1. Sophomore pitcher Odalis Orduno pitched a complete game, giving up six hits and striking out two. PCC scored the only runs it needed in the second inning, taking a 3-0 lead when freshman Courtney Brown hit an RBI double. The Aztecs added four runs in the seventh inning to stretch their lead. Freshman Bailey Critchlow went 3-for-3 and scored two runs.

The Thunderbirds rebounded in the second game to score nine runs, losing 10-9. Winning pitcher Critchlow pitched six innings, allowing 11 hits and striking out one. Critchlow helped herself, again going 3-for-3 at the plate again. Mesa rallied in the bottom of the seventh trailing 10-5. After the Thunderbirds scored four runs in the innings, Orduno, who got the save in relief, got a bases loaded ground-out to end the game.

The Aztecs lost their home opener doubleheader against the Yavapai College Roughriders on Feb. 6.

Pima fell behind early in the first game. After reaching base on an error, sophomore Araceli Peralta scored, tying the game at 1-1 when freshman Courtney Brown doubled in the bottom of the third. The Aztecs were scoreless the rest of the game and Yavapai won 5-1.

Orduno pitched a complete game, allowing 10 hits while striking out three.

The Aztecs held a 2-1 lead going into the top of the seventh of the second game. The Roughriders led off the seventh with a single before Pima starting pitcher freshman Bailey Critchlow struck out the next two batters. Yavapai then hit a two-run double, taking a 3-2 lead.

Pima put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but was unable to push the tying run across the plate before losing 3-2. Critchlow pitched a complete game, allowing eight hits and striking out two.

The games were scheduled at Yavapai but were relocated to Pima early in the week due to weather. The March 22 home date against the Roughriders has now been moved to Yavapai.

Pima started conference play 2-0 after sweeping a doubleheader on Feb. 2 at Scottsdale Community College.

The Aztecs won the first game 3-2. Freshman Larissa Rodriguez hit a single in the top of the seventh inning, scoring freshman Gabriela Trejo to end a 2-2 tie.

Brown’s two-run home run in the fifth inning put Pima on the board after falling behind 2-0. Orduno pitched a complete-game and had five strikeouts.

In the second game, Pima got out to a quick start by taking a 6-0 lead in the second on their way to the 7-4 win.

Freshman Margarita Corona had three RBIs, getting two on a single in the first inning and one on a sacrifice in the second. Critchlow picked up the win, pitching a complete-game with two strikeouts.

The Aztecs had a rough start to their season, going 3-3 at the Southern Nevada Kick-Off Classic.

The second and final day of the Classic saw Pima doing a reversal of its record from the day before by only winning one of three games on Jan. 30.

The final day of the Classic started badly for the Pima Aztecs.

The Colorado Northwestern Community College Spartans shut out the Aztecs 8-0 in the first game. The Spartans allowed Pima just two hits for the game. Freshman Luisa Silvain received the loss, giving up six runs (two earned) off five hits in the first two innings.

The Aztecs’ rough day continued in the second game as they lost 16-4 in five innings against the No. 5 ranked Salt Lake Community College Bruins.

The Bruins took control of the game right away, scoring six runs in the first and adding seven more in the second. Critchlow received the loss after getting a win the day before to even her record at 1-1.

Pima finished the Classic with a win.

The final game against the Snow College Badgers lasted eight innings before sophomore Araceli Peralta drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring sophomore Kalynn Martinez in the top of the eighth inning. Critchlow struck out two in the bottom of the eighth as Pima held on to win 11-10.

The Classic started with three games on Jan. 29 and the Aztecs went 2-1.

Pima won the first game against the College of Southern Idaho Golden Eagles, when the team rallied for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning in what was a 3-3 tie.

Corona’s run home in the sixth capped a three-run final inning as the Aztecs won 11-3. Orduno, who came in to pitch the final two innings, was credited with the win. Orduno didn’t allow a run and struck out two.

The Aztecs lost their second game of the day against Western Nevada College Wildcats 5-4.

Pima scored two runs in the first inning but the Wildcats took the lead by scoring three runs of their own in the second inning, and grabbed the lead for good.

Orduno, who started the second game after getting the win in the first game, received the loss. She went two and one-third innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and two walks.

Pima finished the first day with a 14-1 win in the third game against El Paso Community College Tejanos in five innings. The Aztecs exploded in the fourth inning, putting up 13 runs on 10 hits. Brown’s three-run home run was a highlight of the inning.

Critchlow pitched all five innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. Critchlow also helped the offense by getting two RBIs while going 2-for-3 at the plate.

ON DECK

Feb. 13: @ Glendale Community College, doubleheader, noon, 2 p.m.

Feb. 16: South Mountain Community College, West Campus, doubleheader,
1 p.m., 3 p.m.

Feb. 20: @ Phoenix College, doubleheader, noon, 2 p.m.

Feb. 23: @ Paradise Valley Community College, doubleheader, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.

 

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MENS BASKETBALL: Aztecs hang on in tough season

MENS BASKETBALL: Aztecs hang on in tough season

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Pg10-Men's basketball-Steven

By STEVEN FOWLER

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (14-11, 9-8 in ACCAC) fell on the road at Cochise College 87-69 in Douglas on Feb. 6.

Down by two at 34-32 at halftime, the Aztecs were out-scored in the second half 53-37.

Sophomore Justice Martion led the Aztecs in scoring by contributing 22 points and had nine rebounds. Freshman Damon Dubots had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Aztecs split the regular season series with the Apaches. Pima won the previous game 88-87 at the West Campus on Dec. 9.

On Feb. 3, PCC won a close 81-78 game against the Division I Eastern Arizona College at the West Campus

Down 76-75 with 2:03 remaining in the game, sophomore Yusef Shehata scored and later stole the ball under Eastern Arizona’s possession. Shehata soon found Freshman Kwintin Williams mid-court. Williams landed the basket by a one-handed dunk to put the Aztecs ahead 79-76. With the clock stopping at 1:17, the Gila Monsters called a timeout.

With less than a minute remaining, the Aztecs’ lead was trimmed to one. Following a missed shot by Shehata, the Gila Monsters were unable to capitalize after a defensive rebound by Williams. After Shehata was fouled, he made two free throws at the 10. 8 mark. Eastern Arizona attempted a three-point shot but with a defensive rebound again by Williams, the game was over.

In the second half, Pima’s biggest lead was six when it was 60-54. On a few occasions, Eastern Arizona took one-point leads. The Aztecs’ defense, however, stopped any momentum by the Gila Monsters.

Williams led the team with 25 points, eight rebounds while Martion finished with 20 points – eight straight to keep the Aztecs ahead in the second half. Shehata finished with 19 points.

In the Jan. 30 game, the Aztecs were unable to find the strides it needed in the second half against Glendale Community College

The Aztecs were unable to get things going after trailing most of the game and lost 83-75. After falling behind early in the game, Glendale went on a 12-1 run to open the game. Freshman Dakotah Kordsiemon scored Pima’s first field goal at the 11:06 mark. Later in the first half, the Aztecs went on a 10-0 run to tie the Gauchos at 18 and again at 20. The Gauchos went on a 6-0 run to take a slight lead. The Aztecs went into halftime trailing 35-30.

In the second half, the Aztecs trailed 46-41 but the Gauchos hit two consecutive three-pointers to take a double-digit lead at 52-41. Sophomore Cameron Volk made a successful shot and Shehata made a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 58-52 with 11:28 remaining – that’s how close the Aztecs would make it.

Williams scored a team-high 24 points along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Kordsiemon came off the bench scoring 17 points and went 5-for-7 from the field. Martion finished with eight points and nine rebounds.

On Jan. 27, Pima Community College men’s basketball played in an exciting came that came down to the final seconds against Tohono O’odham Community College.

Shehata scored the game-winning shot with 0.2 seconds remaining as the Aztecs defeated Tohono O’odham 69-67 in Sells, AZ.  The Aztecs swept the regular season series after defeating the Jegos 94-90 on Dec. 14 at the West Campus gym.

Martion finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds while Williams contributed 15 points.

To read about Pima’s Feb. 10 game at Mesa Community College, visit aztecpressonline.com.

Following Pima’s away game at Mesa, the Aztecs continue their road series at Arizona Western College on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

ON DECK

Feb. 10: @MesaCC,7:30p.m.

Feb. 13: @ Arizona Western College, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 17 Central Arizona College, West Campus,

7:30 p.m.

Feb. 20: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 4 p.m.

Feb. 23: @ Scottsdale CC,

7:30 p.m.

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BASEBALL: Offensive juggernaut continues creating wins

BASEBALL: Offensive juggernaut continues creating wins

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Pg12-Baseball-Steven

By STEVEN FOWLER

The Pima Community College’s baseball team (9-0) is off to an unprecedented start after opening 2016 with dominating series sweeps against Utah State University-Eastern on Jan. 29-30 and El Paso Community College on Feb. 5-6 at the West Campus.

In game one, the Aztecs dominated Eastern 13-0 in a five-inning win.  Right-hander Daniel Tolano earned the win after pitching a no-hitter and striking out eight batters on 65 pitches.

“We have started the season the way we wanted to. I feel like the no-hitter gave our staff the motivation to do good,” Tolano said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it on the mound. I just when out there and tried my best to execute every pitch.”

In game two, Pima won 12-2 in seven innings behind a complete game win by freshman left-hander Ernesto Romero.

Despite missing a home run short of the cycle, Ramsower finished 4-for-5 with two RBI.

“The main difference is that this year’s team has many returning sophomores,” sophomore Ivan Estrella said.

On Jan. 30, the Aztecs hosted another double-header against Utah State University-Eastern.

In game one, the Aztecs won 5-0. Freshman right-hander Trevelle Hill allowed three hits, seven strikeouts and no walks in a complete game

In the second game, the Aztecs won 18-3. Freshman right-hander Andres Hackman earned his first win of the season after pitching three innings and allowing two runs.

“We have a loaded lineup top to bottom and some solid arms in the pitching rotation,” Northrup said.

In the first game against El Paso, PCC won 10-2 in seven innings.

Tolano followed his no-hitter with a complete game win.

The second game against El Paso was the team’s toughest competition of the season despite winning 5-4.

Romero threw five and one-third innings and earned the win.

“The atmosphere is great right now,” Northrup said.” It’s important to get off to a good start early on in the season.

ON DECK

Feb. 9: University of Arizona club team, West Campus, 2 p.m.

Feb. 13: @ Glendale CC, noon & 2 p.m.

Feb. 16: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.

Feb. 20 @ Phoenix College, noon & 2 p.m.

Feb. 23 @ Paradise Valley CC, 1 p.m. 3 p.m.

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MEN'S TENNIS: Team completes comeback for win

MEN’S TENNIS: Team completes comeback for win

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By D.R. WILLIAMS

Men’s tennis was back in the swing of things on Feb. 6 at Pima’s West Campus as the Aztecs fought back from an early deficit to win the day against a California team, Imperial Valley College.

Sophomore Jesus Lopez and freshman Curtis Jeffery secured the team’s first victory at No. 3 doubles 9-8 (7-3). Jeffery also won his No. 6 singles match 6-2, 6-0 while Lopez won his No. 4 singles matchup 6-0 with a retirement in the second set.

“It’s not how you want to win the second set but it will do,” Lopez said after the win. “But it is going to take a team effort to pull it out.”

Sophomore Landon Trejo won the No. 5 singles match 6-2, 6-3. He struggled earlier in the day, suffered an 8-1 loss at No. 2 doubles with partner Raj Singh Kaila.

“Something was off; I just wasn’t hitting like normal,” Trejo said after the doubles match.

Singh Kaila later fell in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.

Marc Avalos had a tough outing with a loss at No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-1. He also fell short 9-8 (7-3) with doubles partner Dalton Reisig.

Reisig’s three-set singles victory, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, secured the team win by a count of 5-4 as the Aztecs started the season off on the right foot.

ON DECK

Feb. 20: Benedictine University (Mesa), Tucson Racquet Club, 1 p.m.

Feb. 22: Arizona Christian University, Tucson Racquet Club, 2 p.m.

Pg10-Men's tennis-contributed

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WOMENS TENNIS: Aztecs dominate Imperial Valley

WOMENS TENNIS: Aztecs dominate Imperial Valley

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By STEVEN FOWLER

The Pima Community College women’s tennis team dominated singles and doubles play during its first match of the 2016 season.

The Aztecs shut out Imperial Valley College (California) 9-0 at the West Campus on Feb. 6.

Freshman Samantha Ruth played at No. 2 singles and won her match 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Ema Hernandez shut down her opponent, winning 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.

“I think it was a great warm-up match,” Ruth said. “Even though our opponents were not very strong, we could all get back in the match play groove.”

Freshman Dana Pineda won her match at No. 6 singles 6-0, 6-0 while freshman Fernanda Miller won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.

Freshman Kelsey Brown and sophomore Stephanie Nickles won their matches at No. 1 and No. 3 singles respectively by default.

In doubles play, Hernandez and Pineda earned an 8-0 shutout victory in their No. 3 match. Nickles and Miller played at No. 2 doubles and earned an 8-1 victory. Brown and Ruth won their No. 1 doubles by default.

“We just need more experience playing doubles together but we will get plenty of that soon,” Ruth said.

PCC’s next match is against New Mexico State University at the Tucson Racquet Club on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m.

ON DECK

WOMEN
Feb. 14-15: @ Mesa Invitational, Mesa, noon

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GOLF: Women lose eligibility, men win opener

GOLF: Women lose eligibility, men win opener

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By MICKEY RAY LAMB

The Pima Community College women’s golf team was unable to complete its first meet of the season.

“I’m not at liberty to disclose any information at the moment,” head coach Rick Price said, citing eligibility issues.

Although the Aztecs participated during the first day of competition, PCC was not permitted to participate in the contest for the second day of events.

The next meet of the season is at Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa on Feb. 14 at noon.

The mens’s golf team had an outstanding season opener, winning the Chandler-Gilbert invitational.

Pima finished on top individually, with David Rauer taking first place with a 137, Wilfred Tewawina in second with 140 and Frankie Wu was tied for third with a 142 in the two-day event.

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Preseason pro soccer returns to Tucson

Preseason pro soccer returns to Tucson

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By BRYAN OROZOCO

The Desert Diamond Cup preseason soccer tournament will return to the Old Pueblo for the fifth year in a row.

Ten Major League Soccer teams, including the current MLS champion Portland Timbers, will compete along with three semi-professional teams throughout the month of February.

Starting Feb. 17, three tournament matches will be played every Wednesday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Kino Sports Complex on both the North Stadium and the North Grandstand Stadium fields.

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.

Five different teams have won the Cup in previous years. This year’s competition will include three past champions: Sporting Kansas City, Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake.

Many U.S. Men’s National Team stars will play in this year’s tournament, including striker Clint Dempsey, midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit fctucson.com.

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Sports briefs - Universities recruit 12 PCC athletes

Sports briefs – Universities recruit 12 PCC athletes

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Twelve Pima Community College student-athletes announced their commitment to transfer to four-year universities when they signed national letters of intent Feb. 3-4.

Compiled by STEVEN FOWLER

MEN’S SOCCER

Sophomore forward Jason Romero signed with the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

Romero played his freshman year at Yavapai College before transferring to Pima last season. He helped lead the Aztecs to a third-place finish at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in November and a 21-4-2 overall record.

He was named an NJCAA Division I first team All-American and was selected ACCAC Division I Player of the Year. He set a Pima men’s soccer record by scoring 32 goals and also recorded 12 assists during the season.

Sophomore midfielder Angel Heredia signed a letter of intent to play at the University of California-Irvine.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

Sophomore forward Devyn Hunley will transfer to the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP).

Hunley was selected second team NJCAA Division I All-American this season, and earned first-team All-ACCAC/Region I honors in back-to-back years.

She was a starter in all 24 games, and helped lead the Aztecs to their best record in program history at 20-2-2 and a second straight appearance in the NJCAA Division I national tournament. She scored a team-leading 15 goals and also had 10 assists.

FOOTBALL

Nine players signed to play at four-year universities, including Oregon State University:

• Timmy Hernandez (WR/DB) – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)

• Wesley Payne (LB) – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)

• Landry Payne (FS) – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Ore.)

• Alex Rios (OL) – East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)

• Deontay Townsend (RB) – Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Texas)

• Eric Dedrick (TE) – Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, Mo.)

• Markell Simmons (SS) – Texas Christian University (Ft. Worth, Texas)

• Darrell “D.J.” Clark (Slot) – Grambling State University (Grambling, La.)

• Isaiah Birkel (LB) – Black Hills State University (Spearfish, S.D.)

 

 

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Aztecs ignite the court with pair of upsets

Aztecs ignite the court with pair of upsets

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By STEVEN FOWLER

Since Dec. 9, the Pima Community College men’s basketball team (12-9, 7-6 in ACCAC) have compiled an 8-5 record including a 91-85 upset over No. 16 Arizona Western College on Jan. 6 since our last publication.

The Aztecs upset No. 18 Phoenix College on the road on Jan. 23.

Pima held a double-digit lead for the majority of the game beating Phoenix College 94-86.

In the first half, the Aztecs went on an eye-popping 22-3 stretch in roughly five minutes to take a 36-13 lead. Sophomores Yusef Shehata and Cameron Volk contributed with a combines nine 3-pointers in the half.

The Aztecs led 55-32 early in the second half but the Bears went on a 16-3 stretch to trim the deficit to eight. Pima responded with an inside shot from sophomore Justice Martion and a three-pointer by freshman Kwintin Williams to make it 63-50.

As Pima held a 67-56 lead with 10:28 left, they went on a 16-5 run to take a comfortable 83-61 with a little over five minutes remaining. Despite a 12-3 run by Phoenix College, the Aztecs made several free-throw shots to seal the victory.

Williams finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. Shehata made 19 of his 24 points in the first half including six 3-pointers. Volk contributed with 15 points and seven rebounds while Martion scored 13 points and seven rebounds.

On Jan. 20, PCC lost on the road to Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

After trailing 31-25 at halftime, the Aztecs were outscored by 10 and fell 78-62.

Pima split the regular season series with the Coyotes. The Aztecs won 86-76 on Nov. 18 at the West Campus Gym.

PCC won a high-scoring game on Jan. 16 against Scottsdale Community College.

“I thought we were a better team personnel-wise, I just couldn’t get our guys to find the defensive end,” said men’s basketball head coach Brian Peabody.

The Aztecs reached triple digits for just the fourth time this season in their 104-94 win-their fifth win in their last six games.

Leading by as much as 10 points in the first half, the Aztecs held on to a 50-45 lead at the half.

Up 77-76 with roughly eight minutes remaining in the game, the Aztecs went on an 8-0 run that was capped off by a three-pointer by Shehata to make it 85-76 with 7:09 left in the game. The Artichokes cut the deficit with 2:08 remaining until Shehata and freshman Keven Biggs each made two free throws to give the Aztecs a double-digit lead.

“I thought we did a little bit better of a job in the second half on the defensive side but not much better,” Peabody said. “It’s just trying to get guys to put some effort into it on the defensive side.”

Shehata finished with a team-high 27 points including making seven 3-pointers. Martion scored 25 points including six rebounds and two blocks.

Williams made 17 points, six rebounds and two assists while Biggs had a double-double of thirteen points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Dakota Kordsiemon came off the bench and scored all 11 of his points in the second half.

PCC earned the win in a tight game against South Mountain Community College on Jan. 13 in Phoenix.

The Aztecs held on to beat South Mountain 81-79 after the Cougars fell short in their failed attempt with five seconds remaining.

Pima led 36-33 at halftime and eventually took a 73-69 lead with four minutes remaining.

Williams led the Aztecs with 27 points and 19 rebounds while Shehata contributed with 19 points, four assists and six rebounds.

“In our league, everybody can beat everybody. There is nobody that stands out,” Peabody said.

 

Sophomore Justice Martion carefully aligns his atempted shot from the free-throw line. (Aztec Press photos by Steven Fowler)

Sophomore Justice Martion carefully aligns his atempted shot from the free-throw line. (Aztec Press photos by Steven Fowler)

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Phoenix college snaps Aztec win streak

Phoenix college snaps Aztec win streak

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By JASON WEIR

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (17-4, 11-2 in ACCAC) went on an 11 game win streak since our last publication. The Aztecs Jan. 23 loss and Dec. 5 loss at Eastern Arizona College surrounded an impressive 11 game win streak.

The Aztecs don’t have another regular season game against Phoenix College but will get their chance to avenge the loss against Eastern Arizona College when they host the Gila Monsters on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. at the West Campus Gym.

Pima had a difficult time finding points to start the game against the Bears. The Aztecs managed only 6 points in the first quarter. The slow start led to a 37-23 deficit at the half. The Aztecs were unable get the lead down to single digits in the second half as they lossed 69-50.

Pima sophomore Shalise Fernander had a double-double with 14 in each points and rebounds.

The Jan. 27 game against Tohono O’odham Community College in Sells took place after the Aztec Press went to press.

The Aztecs won their 11th game in a row on Jan. 20 when they defeated Chandler-Gilbert Community College 83-67. The Aztecs showed no signs of tiring on the road as the outscored the Coyotes by 13 in the 4th quarter. Freshman Sydni Stallworth was the high scorer in the game with 31

points.

This is nothing new for Stallworth as she was ACCAC Division II Player of the Week the day before. This is the third time Stallworth has received this award.

On Jan. 16 the Aztecs hosted Scottsdale Community College. The Aztecs remained unbeaten at home going this season beating the Artichokes 77-55. The Aztecs scored the first eight points in the second half and with five minutes into the second half they were up 52-27.

Stallworth led the team with 25 points with 11 of those coming from the free throw line where she was 11-12. Sophomore Taylor Blue also scored in double figures with 11 points along with five rebounds and two steals.

The Aztecs won nine straight over the break from Dec. 9 to Jan.13 following a loss to the Gila Monsters. They won those games by an average of just over 20 points a game. The Cochise College Apaches took the Aztecs to overtime before falling to Pima 72-66 on Dec. 9.

The Aztecs will play thier next game against Glendale on Jan. 30.

 

Sophomore guard Samirah Miller looks for the open pass while avoiding the Artichoke defender. (Aztec Press  photo by Steven Fowler)

Sophomore guard Samirah Miller looks for the open pass while avoiding the Artichoke defender. (Aztec Press photo by Steven Fowler)

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Veteran players stepping up to plate

Veteran players stepping up to plate

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By STEVEN FOWLER

Pima Community College’s baseball team aims to rebound from a dismal 2015 season after finishing with a 24-27 overall record and 17-23 in conference play.

After dropping the first two games last season to South Mountain Community College, the Aztecs were hit-and-miss throughout the season and missed the playoffs.

However, the 2016 season could lead to a different direction.

Despite several key losses from players during the offseason, returning players will have a tremendous impact.

“I feel our intensity is high and as a team, we have high expectations for success this season,” sophomore right-handed pitcher Daniel Tolano said.

Tolano hopes to capitalize on an electric first season. With 40.2 innings pitched in 19 games under his belt, Tolano finished with a 3-3 record with one save and a 2.66 earned run average.

Fellow sophomore and left-handed pitcher Justin Hammergren helped anchor the rotation, where he started 10 games while pitching across 60 innings. Hammergren finished his first season with a 4.79 ERA and a team-leading 58 strikeouts.

Sophomore left-hand pitcher Vinnie Tarantola, who split time playing at first base, pitched in 16 games and compiled a 4-5 record in 57 innings pitched to go along with a 6.63 ERA.

Across the field, sophomore infielder Ivan Estrella returns to the lineup. Last season, Estrella finished in the top three in nearly every offensive category including games (51), at-bats (162), runs (39), hits (57) and batting average (.352).

Returning catcher Jacob Northrup is primed to become Pima’s next starting catcher after splitting time with sophomore Ruben Bracamontes last season.

Al Cruz, the first baseman and designated hitter, is another impact player.

In 39 games last season, Cruz, a .266 hitter, collected 29 hits while crushing two home runs and driving in 19 runs.

In the outfield, sophomores David Oropeza, Zach Gadway, Ryan Neter, Shane Bradford and others will play to earn their way into starting positions.

Incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to start over their elder-statesmen if they play well enough.

Going into the 2016 season, head coach Jason Hisey and his assistants have a better idea of who deserves the opportunity to start.

“We have a full ball program where we play 20 games, so we find out a little bit about them there,” Hisey said. “Then we come out of the winter to see who’s eligible to play and we have these three weeks, so it’s ongoing.”

With the season opener looming, Hisey is hopeful for what the season will bring.

“We’re just trying to get better every day and stay healthy,” he said. “We’ll see what happens at the end.”

The Aztecs open the season with a nine-game home stand, starting with a four-game series against Utah State University Eastern at the West Campus.

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Pima sets sights on national championship

Pima sets sights on national championship

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By JASON WEIR

With the goal of a national championship, the Pima Community College softball team will open its 2016 season on Jan. 29 at the CSN Kickoff Classic in Henderson, Nev.

Head coach Armando Quiroz notes the Aztecs are freshmen-heavy, with 11 true freshmen and one red-shirt freshman.

That means the Aztecs will look to their sophomores for leadership. Two of those sophomores, shortstop Kalynn “Kewi” Martinez and center fielder Araceli “Celi” Peralta, say they’re ready for the role.

“I know how things are here,” Martinez said.

Adds Peralta: “I am a leader by example. We complement each other.”

The Aztecs gained experience at winning last fall, when they participated in a University of Arizona invitational tournament.

Pima went 16-1, with the lone loss coming against host UA. Two divisional opponents, Arizona Western College and Central Arizona College, also played in the tournament.

The first goal of the 2016 season is hosting and winning the regional playoffs, Peralta said.

Host Phoenix College eliminated the Aztecs at regionals last year, after Pima won four of five regular-season matchups.

It’s obvious that fact is not lost on the team. Just mentioning Phoenix College generates reactions from both coaches and players.

“Us and them are the bar,” Quiroz said.

Martinez mentioned the rival when listing team goals.

“We got to beat Phoenix College,” she said.

The Aztecs will get their first chance at Phoenix College on Feb. 20.

 

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Aztecs hope Price is right

Aztecs hope Price is right

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By MICKEY RAY LAMB

After placing 14th in the 2015 NJCAA National Tournament, the Pima Community College women’s golf team enters the 2016 season optimistically.

“This group of young ladies, is the best group I’ve ever had the privilege to coach,” head coach Rick Price said. “Maybe even program history.”

Key returnees include Cary Nelson and Casey Morinelli. Along with recruits Samantha Hacker and Desiree Holl from Sahuaro High School’s state champion team, they strive to extend Pima’s successes on the field.

Pima’s first match of the season will be against Imperial Valley on Feb. 6.

 

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Court is in session for  men’s tennis

Court is in session for men’s tennis

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By MICKEY RAY LAMB

After falling to conference rival Glendale Community College in the 2015 Regional Championship, Pima Community College men’s tennis head coach Brian Ramirez is looking to build off the successes and learn from the disappointments of the previous season.

Pima comes into the 2016 season with an entirely new roster of freshman: Charlie Carrizoza, Dalton Reisig, Landon Trejo, Marc Avalos, Curtis Jeffery, Jesus Lopez, Rad Singh Kaila and Ceasar Osuna.

The Aztecs first match of the season will be against Imperial Valley at the West Campus on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m.

 

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