By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team is currently averaging 83.2 points per game, an improvement from the previous seasons 72.6 points per game average.
The Aztecs have also improved their three-point accuracy, hitting 30.7 percent as opposed to 21.9 percent last season. Their overall field goal percentage has also seen a bump, an 8.3% percent increase from last season.
“We are right where we want to be, coming down the stretch in a good position,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “In my ten years, this is probably the best offensive team I’ve ever had.”
Feb. 4: PCC 87, Eastern Arizona 92
After maintaining a slight lead for three quarters, the Aztecs ended up with a loss against the Gila Monsters.
Pima held a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Then Eastern Arizona outscored PCC 31-19 in the fourth. The Gila Monsters out rebounded the Aztecs, 51-36, and shot 25 for 30 at the free throw line.
Sophomore Denesia Smith, lead the team with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. Fellow sophomore Sydni Stallworth had 18 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Feb. 8: PCC 83, South Mountain 53
After their second loss to Eastern Arizona, the Aztecs bounced back and beat the South Mountain Cougars.
PCC started out the second half with a 17-point lead and steamrolled it into a 30-point lead by the end of the game.
Stallworth led her team with 27 points and shot 62 percent from the field. Freshman Alliyah Bryant had 13 points, hitting half of her shots.
The win allowed for a sweep of the Cougars, with the Aztec’s having defeated South Mountain 68-54 earlier in the season.
Feb. 11: PCC 71, Scottsdale 58
The Aztecs took the win against the Artichokes after sophomore Bree Cates dropped 24 points.
The game began as a neck and neck affair, until the fourth quarter. The Aztecs stretched their lead to double digits in the fourth, and closed out the game with a 13-point lead.
Cates also shot for 44 percent and had six rebounds. Stallworth finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
“We got a tough part of our schedule coming up leading into playoffs,” Holthaus said. “That’ll be the focus leading into playoffs, tighten up the defence. Knowing that the old cliché ‘defense wins championships’ is true.”
Feb. 15: PCC vs. Cochise
The game took place after the Aztec Press went to press.
Feb. 18: at Phoenix College, 2p.m.
Feb. 22: Cetral Arizona, West Campus, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 25: at Mesa CC, 2p.m.
Feb. 28: Arizona Western, West Campus, 5:30 p.m.
By CASEY MUSE JR
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team rode a six-game winning streak during winter break.
The team suffered its first loss during a road contest with Cochise College on Jan. 7, and then dropped three straight games from there. The Aztecs’ second-half performances were their downfall.
With school back in session, the team looked to get back on track and find a way to play a complete game.
Jan. 14: PCC 97, Central Arizona College 103
PCC dropped it third straight game against Central Arizona College on the road.
The Aztecs were in control in the first half, leading by as much as 11. They took a 46-41 lead into halftime but could not maintain their good performance in the second half. Pima was outscored 62-51 and lost the game 103-97.
Sophomore Zach Evans led the team with 27 points and freshman Isaiah Murphy scored 15 points.
“It is important for us to get our guys playing well and for them to see the ball go through the hoop,” Evans said after the game. “Hopefully we can bring more energy the next game and to the rest of the season.”
Jan. 18: PCC 115, Mesa CC 78
The Aztecs got back to winning in a home conference game against Mesa Community College. Pima dominated the entire game, and never trailed.
Sophomore Emilio Acedo made eight 3-pointers to score a team-high 26 points. Fellow sophomore Jacob Anastasi added 23 points.
Sophomore Deion James had his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Evans also had a double-double, with 12 points and 11 assists.
“This was a really important win for us getting back on track,” Evans said. “Deion had a huge game tonight.”
Jan. 21: PCC 97, Arizona Western College 101
Pima made it close at the end but was not able to overcome a double-digit deficit against Arizona Western College in Yuma.
The Aztecs were down 94-80 with 1:46 left in the game, and then Acedo began making threes. Pima cut the lead to 4 points with 7.8 seconds left but the Matadors made their free throws and sealed the game.
Acedo finished with 22 points and six rebounds. Anastasi scored 22 points and James added another double-double to his resume with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Jan. 25: PCC 96, Tohono O’odham CC 91
Pima returned to winning ways in a road game against Tohono O’odham. It was a satisfying piece of revenge for the Aztecs, who fell to Tohono O’odham 85-82 at home in November.
The game was close throughout, and Pima found itself trailing at the half. PCC used a strong second half to close things out, outscoring the Jegos 54-43 in the period.
James led the way with 16 points. Freshman Alize Travis was huge off the bench with 13 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range as well as 4-for-4 shooting from the free throw line.
Jan. 28: PCC 98, Chandler-Gilbert CC 87
The Aztecs won their second game in a row at home against Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Pima was in control throughout the game and led by as many as 17 points in the second half.
James earned his 12th double-double of the season, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Anastasi added 24 points and seven rebounds.
“We have a very talented and unselfish team that’s willing to make the extra pass,” Anastasi said. “It’s about taking what the defense gives you. We trust each other and we all have our roles and know them and that’s vital to the team’s success.”
Murphy was the leading scorer off of the bench with 23 points. Acedo rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 points.
Feb. 1: PCC 87 Glendale 94
The Aztecs dropped a conference game on the road against Glendale Community College.
Pima played a good first half and took a 49-45 lead into the break.
Unfortunately, the team dealt with foul trouble during the second half as sophomore Deion James resisted picking up his fifth and final foul during the final stretch. James was still able to score a team high 25 points despite being on the verge of disqualification. Freshman Isaiah Murphy contributed 16 points and sophomore Damon Dubots added 15 of his own.
The result meant a season split with the Gauchos, PCC took a previous meeting at home 108-96 in December.
Feb 4: at Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, 7:30 p.m.
Feb 8: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.
Feb 11: at Scottsdale CC, 5 p.m.
Feb 15: Cochise College, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.
By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (8-2, 3-1 in ACCAC) lost just one game in November, and hopes to continue that momentum.
“The month of November was about as good as it could go, outside of the game against New Mexico Junior College,” head women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus said. “I guess so far, so good.”
Sophomore Sydni Stallworth earned ACCAC Division II player of the week honors on Nov. 28. She averaged 13.6 point, 3.7 rebounds and 2.1 steals in the first seven games.
Nov. 22: PCC 88, Tohono O’odham CC 51
The Aztecs opened the first quarter with a double-digit lead and continued scoring unanswered points for an 88-51 home conference win over Tohono O’odham Community College.
Pima started the game with a 9-0 run, which led to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter. An 11-0 run in the second quarter put the Aztecs up 32-7. After half time, the team went on a 12-0 run for a 65-27 lead in the third quarter.
Stallworth lead the team with 19 points, going for 57 percent beyond the arc. Freshman Katey Roquemore and sophomore Bailey Johnson each scored 10 points off the bench. The team outrebounded TOCC, 54-29.
Nov. 30: PCC 104, Chandler-Gilbert CC 34
The Aztecs closed out November with their sixth straight win, defeating Chandler-Gilbert Community College by a 70-point margin. PCC did not let the Coyotes score double digits in any quarter except the third.
“It was a little rough in the beginning, we were kind of anxious for no reason,” sophomore Denesia Smith said. “After the first five minutes of the first quarter, we started to relax and play our game.”
Smith finished with a team-high 20 points, plus five assists and five steals. Chandler-Gilbert transfer Bree Cates scored 14 points against her old team.
Dec. 3: PCC 74, Glendale CC 51
Pima started December with its seventh straight win, defeating the Glendale Community College Gauchos in a 74-51 home victory.
The team wasted no time in the first half to take a 50-36 lead into the break. The Gauchos responded with an 11-3 run that trickled into the beginning minutes of the fourth quarter, but a 21-4 run by Stallworth and freshman Alliyah Bryant sealed the game.
Smith finished with 19 points, seven steals and three assists. Stallworth and Cates both scored 14 points.
Dec. 7: PCC 86, Eastern Arizona College 88
Eastern Arizona College was the conference champ last year, defeating PCC by five points in the championship game.
This year was an even closer match up as the Aztecs lost by two points, 88-86, in overtime.
The game was a back-and-forth battle between the Gila Monsters and the Aztecs. PCC found a lead in the third quarter but was overtaken by a 14-4 run in the fourth.
PCC freshman Izzy Spruit sunk a three-pointer with 12 seconds left to tie the game 76-76 and force overtime, where the Aztecs ultimately met their loss.
Stallworth finished as the top scorer with 21 points, while Spruit and Cates were next with 15 points each.
Dec 10: at South Mountain CC, Phoenix, 2 p.m.
Dec. 28: Dawson CC at Bruce Fleck Classic, West Campus gym, 7 p.m.
Dec. 30: Arizona Christian University JV at Bruce Fleck Classic, West Campus gym, 5 p.m.
By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
The power to overcome and defy odds. The power to push yourself past limits to a place you never imagined. The power you get from the fire within you.
Sophomore guard Denesia Smith has hardened her will through life experiences, but she doesn’t let them hold back her smile.
“Everyone has their own battles and struggles, so I’m not going to sit here and carp on mine, because there’s someone else who is in a worse condition than me,” she said.
Smith fell on her hip before the current season. She now has misaligned hips, which causes back, hip and lower leg pain during her normal day. On the pain scale, she rates hers at a constant five or six out of 10.
“It was a small little pop and I couldn’t walk,” she said. “Since then, my left side has been locking up, and it’s ‘out aligned.’”
Smith spent her childhood in Houston living in a house with more than 10 residents.
“We all grew up more or less raised as brothers and sisters,” she said. “If one of us didn’t have food, clothing or a drink, then nobody else did. That was just kind of how we were brought up.”
There were days they went without food and it seemed normal to do so, Smith said.
“That was just the way life was,” Smith said. “It wasn’t until later that I realized, ‘hey, we kind of had it rough.’”
During her middle-school years, Smith’s family moved to Arizona after her mother got a new job in Sierra Vista.
Smith attended Buena High School and played on the varsity basketball team during her freshman to junior years. She averaged 10.4 points throughout her time with the Colts.
She spent her senior year at Cienega High School in Vail, where she totaled 258 points in her last high school season and shot a 47 percent field goal average.
The Bobcats made it to the state championship but lost to Senton Catholic High School.
The showdown will forever live in Smith’s mind as the game they should’ve won. A Senton player who now plays alongside Smith at Pima made the winning layup.
“BS call,” Smith said. “It was the last three seconds. The girl on my team right now, Reazsha Benjamin, gets a steal and goes down court on a fast break. The buzzer sounds when she goes up and gets the ball in the hoop.”
Smith says she has footage to prove the game was over before the layup. Benjamin isn’t sure whether her shot beat the buzzer.
“It was hard to tell,” Benjamin said. “I don’t think I did, but because the crowd was so loud and the refs were distracted by everyone, I think it was so hard to say they just counted it.”
Smith is now a court leader for the No. 1 ranked Aztecs.
“Nesi is one of the best athletes I’ve coached here at Pima,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “She’s does whatever she needs to do so she can be out on the court with her team.”
When she first joined the Pima team, Smith was forced to redshirt due to knee and meniscus problems.
In the year after redshirting, she averaged 37 percent shooting field goals and 63 percent on the free throw line.
With her bad hip this season, Smith currently averages 33 percent shooting three pointers and 45 percent shooting field goals.
Smith goes to a trainer daily to get her hip popped back into place, and to use techniques that PCC athletic trainer Chris Murphy shows her to relieve pain.
“He’s gotta pop my hip back into place and get them re-aligned,” Smith said. “Murph gets it to where the pain is tolerable.”
However well she does in basketball, Smith hopes to find a career in something related to helping others.
“I just want to give and help people, you know,” she said. “In whatever form that may be ― counseling, psychiatry, being a teacher.”
Smith is attracted to the idea of working with children in fourth grade, because she sees how her little sister’s mind is growing.
“She’s still innocent and pure but I see the way she’s starting to learn and put things together,” Smith said. “I just love that whole process.”
She shows the same passion for life.
“You just gotta do what you gotta do and tough it out, you know?” Smith said. “It won’t be here forever. Take it day by day, and it’ll be OK.”
By CASEY MUSE JR
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team faced quality competition in preconference games that offered opportunities for the Aztecs to test themselves before conference play began Nov. 22.
The first conference game, against Tohono O’Odham Community College, took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.
Nov. 9: PCC 133, Arizona Christian JV 87
The Aztecs got off to a hot start in a 133-87 home win against Arizona Christian University’s JV team.
Pima opened with a 20-4 run and took a 65-45 lead into the halftime break. Another 17-0 run at the end of the third quarter put the game away.
Sophomores led the way, with Damon Dubots scoring 27 points and seven rebounds. Emilio Acedo knocked down four 3-pointers on his way to a 21-point, seven-rebound game and Jacob Anastasi recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Nov. 13: PCC 92, Utah State-Eastern 90
Pima faced its first true test of the season and came away with a 92-90 victory over Utah State University-Eastern.
The Aztecs and Eagles battled to a 46-46 halftime tie. Pima took a double-digit lead in the third quarter but surrendered a big run in the fourth to keep the game tight until the end.
Defense won the day as the Aztecs hit a pair of key three pointers and made key stops to obtain the victory.
Acedo led the way with 24 points, shooting 6 for 12 from the three-point line.
Nov. 17: PCC 86, New Mexico JC 99
PCC suffered its first loss of the season in a 99-86 contest against Division I New Mexico JC on the first day of the Native American Classic.
The Aztecs kept it close in the first half, going into the break down three points.
Sophomore Deion James gave Pima the lead on a technical foul free throw with 18 minutes left. New Mexico then went on an 11-0 run to take a double digit lead and control of the game. The Aztecs cut into the lead slightly but were never able to complete a comeback.
James finished the game with a double-double, 25 points and 10 rebounds. Acedo had a solid game as well scoring 19 points.
Nov. 18: PCC 95, Salt Lake CC 102
The Aztecs showed heart in their 102-95 loss to last season’s NJCAA Division I national champion, Salt Lake Community College.
Pima fell behind 56-36 at halftime but went on a 19-4 run halfway through the second half to claw their way back into the game.
Acedo and Freshman Isaiah Murphy were key during the comeback run.
The Aztecs got as close as one point but were never able to overtake the lead. Murphy finished the game with 28 points.
Nov. 19: PCC 120, Pascua Yaqui 113
Pima won a shootout against Pascua Yaqui 120-113 on the final day of the Native American Classic.
The Aztecs took a 59-47 lead into the halftime break. They would lead by as much as 21 points but allowed a late barrage from Pascua Yaqui that cut into the lead.
Sophomore Dakota Kordsiemon led the team with 26 points. Freshman Ilunga Moise had a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Freshman Alize Travis contributed 24 points, and sophomore Zach Evans finished with 21 points as well.
“All of our players weren’t even able to play tonight.” Evans said after the game. “If we all play and play together, I believe that we are good enough to make nationals.”
Nov. 30: at Chandler-Gilbert CC, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 3: Glendale CC, West Campus gym, 4 p.m.
Dec. 7: Eastern Arizona College, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.
By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
The No. 1 Pima Community College women’s basketball team started the season 6-1. The Aztecs played in two pre-conference tournaments: the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbird Classic in Hobbs, New Mexico, and the Native American Classic at PCC. They opened conference play Nov. 22 with a win.
Head coach Todd Holthaus earned his 200th Pima win on Nov. 17.
“I’ve been privileged to coach people and alongside those I hold dear,” Holthaus said in a press release. “I’m very fortunate to do what I do.”
The Aztecs also avenged last season’s national semifinal loss to Illinois Central College in a rematch on Nov. 19.
Nov. 3: PCC 71, Western Texas College 64
The Aztecs’ first ‘W’ came at the Thunderbird Classic against a Division I team, Western Texas. Pima held the lead from the first minutes of the game.
Pima shot 43 percent from the field. Sophomore Bree Cates led the team with 13 points.
Nov. 4: PCC 54, New Mexico JC 79
Pima lost to the host school on the second day of the Classic. The Aztecs never held a lead and shot 6-for-28 from three-point range.
Sophomore Sydni Stallworth led the team with 12 points. She also had two rebounds and two assists.
Nov. 5: PCC 62, Howard College 56
PCC closed out the Thunderbird Classic with a win against Division I Howard College from Texas.
The Aztecs were behind by three points to begin the third quarter but went on a 13-0 run to turn their deficit into a double-digit lead.
Nov. 17: PCC 80, Gillette College 52
The first game in the Native American Classic saw Holthaus get his 200th Pima win. The Aztecs never let up pressure and finished the game with 18 offensive rebounds.
Sophomore Denesia Smith led the team with 15 points. Freshmen Izzy Spruit and Alliyah Bryant had three 3-pointers apiece. Spruit also had five steals.
Nov. 18: PCC 90, Elite 1 Academy 36
The Aztecs dominated, holding Elite 1 Academy to single-digit points in the second and third quarters.
Spruit hit five 3-pointers and finished the game with 17 points. Fellow freshman Reazsha Benjamin had 10 points. Stallworth finished with 16 points, five assists and four steals.
Nov. 19: PCC 96, Illinois Central College 73
After a tight first half, Pima outscored the No. 11 Cougars 34-16 in the third quarter and went on to win 96-73.
Pima lost 77-74 to Illinois Central in the NJCAA Division II tournament last March.
Cates finished with a game-high 26 points. She also had five rebounds and three steals.
Sophomore Erin Peterson had 16 points and four rebounds, while Stallworth contributed 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Smith had eight points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals, and fellow sophomore Moana Hala-ufia scored 14 points.
“This win was for last year’s graduates,” Holthaus told the team after the game.
Nov. 22: PCC 88, Tohono O’odham CC 51
After leaving the Native American Classic unscathed, the Aztecs defended their home court against Tohono O’odham Community College. PCC took control of the game early and never let up pressure.
Stallworth led the team with 19 points, and shot for 57 percent from the 3-point line. Spruit had 13 points, three steals and two assists in the game.
By CASEY MUSE JR
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team opened the season with two decisive non-conference victories, a 127-68 win over Vegas Impact and a 138-63 win over Three Kings Prep Academy from Windsor Ontario, Canada.
Pima was scheduled to play Arizona Christian Academy Nov. 9. The game took place after the Aztec Press went to the printer.
The Aztecs were in control for the entire Nov. 6 game against Vegas Impact. They started the game on a 23-0 run and took a 64-25 lead into the halftime break. The second half was more of the same, behind 52 points from the bench unit.
Six Aztecs scored double points. Sophomore Dakota Kordsiemon notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Deion James lead the team in scoring with 23 points. Freshman Ilunga Moise was a factor off of the bench, with 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Aztecs also controlled the game against Three Kings Prep Academy, posting a 83-26 lead at the half.
Freshman Isaiah Murphy led the way with 22 points, shooting 10-of-13 from the field. Three other players had 17 points each.
Pima continues home play with games scheduled Nov. 13-22 at the West Campus gym.
The Aztecs return six players from last season’s team, including one redshirt.
Sophomore guard Keven Biggs returns to the team looking to embrace a new leadership role. Biggs averaged 10.1 points and 1.7 assists per game in a 2015 season that saw the Aztecs make their third consecutive appearance in the Region I, Division II playoffs.
He will look to improve upon those numbers and lead the backcourt unit this season along with fellow sophomore Zach Evans.
Also look for sophomore big man Justice Bessard to evolve into a team leader. Bessard stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall and averaged 8.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 2015.
Head coach Brian Peabody will lead the team in his fourth season at Pima.
Peabody had more wins at the high school level (443) than any coach in Tucson history, and has worked each season to rebuild PCC’s program.
PCC had a 12-10 conference record in 2015, its best mark in 15 years. The Aztecs have not won an ACCAC championship since 1980.
Cochise College and Phoenix College tied for the best conference record last season at 16-6.
“It is all about execution this season,” assistant coach Joe Hickle said.
By STEVEN FOWLER
Pima Community College men’s basketball sophomore guard Yusuf Shehata has signed a national letter of intent to
continue his collegiate career at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif.
Shehata anchored Pima’s offense to a 17-14 overall record this season, its best ACCAC conference record since 2000-01.
The Aztecs made their third straight Region I, Division II tournament appearance.
He was named third team All-ACCAC and second team All-Region I, Division II after starting in all 31 games. He
averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while averaging 83.3 percent from the free throw line and
42.2 percent from the three-point range.
By Jason Weir
A season of honors for Pima Community College women’s basketball freshman point guard Sydni Stallworth continued
April 5 when she was selected first-team All-American.“It feels great to receive the award as a freshman,” Stallworth
said. “I want to thank my entire coaching staff and my teammates.”
Stallworth, the sixth PCC women’s basketball player to ever receive the honor, started all 36 games for the Aztecs on
their way to a record-tying 28-8 overall record. She was named ACCAC Player of the Week four times and NJCAA
Player of the Week once.
After helping lead the Aztecs to a third-place finish in the NJCAA Division II Tournament in March, she and teammate
sophomore Taylor Blue were named to the All-Tournament team.
“I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today if it weren’t for my team pushing me,” Stallworth said.
By STEVEN FOWLER
The No. 3 Pima Community College men’s basketball team saw its season end March 2 after a 96-81 loss in the Region I, Division II semifinal game at No. 2 seeded South Mountain Community College.
It was the third consecutive year that the Aztecs were eliminated in the semifinal game.
South Mountain took an early nine-point lead in the first half, but the Aztecs came back on a 15-6 run to take a 35-30 lead. The game was tied at 38 a piece at halftime.
PCC trailed early in the second half 51-48, but went on a 10-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game with 11:19 remaining.
PCC was outscored 23-6 in the final 4:50 in the game. Sophomore Yusef Shehata made two free throws to give the Aztecs a 75-73 lead but the Cougars went on an 8-0 run and the Aztecs saw their slim lead slip out of grasp.
Shehata made three free throws that closed the gap to three points. Later, freshman Kwintin Williams’s basket put PCC within two points at 82-80.
The Cougars went on yet another 8-0 run that made it a 90-80 score with roughly a minute remaining. South Mountain scored the final six points in their win.
The Aztecs produced four players in double figures.
Shehata hit six 3-pointers and went on to score a team-high 23 points. Williams finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Sophomore Justice Martion had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Keven Biggs also scored 14 points.
The Aztecs finished the 2016 season at 17-14, their third straight season with 15 wins or more under head coach Brian Peabody. The Aztecs’ ACCAC conference record of 12-10 marked their best mark since the 2000-01 season.
PCC had three representatives selected to the All-ACCAC conference and All-Region I, Division II teams. Sophomores Yusuf Shehata, a guard and forward Justice Martion along with freshman forward Kwintin Williams were recognized for their contributions on the court during the game.
Williams was named second team All-ACCAC and first team All-Region, Division II. Martion was selected third team All-ACCAC and second team All-Region. Shehata was named third team All-ACCAC and second team All-Region I.
By JASON WEIR
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (22-7, 16-5 in ACCAC) finished the regular season schedule and is ready for the Division II Playoffs.
The Aztecs went 1-2 since their Feb. 10 match up, losing the first two games.
The Aztecs rebounded from those losses with an impressive win against South Mountain Community College in their home finale.
Freshman Sydni Stallworth continued her impressive freshman campaign, leading the Aztecs in scoring in all three games.
Both freshman Denesia Smith and sophomore Gabby Banales put their injuries behind them as they each scored in double figures in the game against the Cougars.
The Aztecs hope to be at full strength for the regional playoffs starting March 1.
The Feb. 23 game at Scottsdale Community College took place after the Aztec Press went to print.
Pima honored its six sophomores, Shalise Fernander, Taylor Blue, Hayley Pryor, Samirah Miller, Kristin Baldwin and Banales, as they played their final regular-season home game on Feb. 20.
The Aztecs dominated the winless Cougars from start to finish.
After winning the first quarter 28-2, Pima finished the first half with a 40-13 lead.
Pima continued to play hard in the second half on their way to the 93-34 victory.
The win completed the Aztec’s season sweep over the Cougars.
Pima’s bench even extended playing time with the large lead and scored 48 points on their own.
Freshman Bailey Johnson led the bench in scoring with 11 points to make her one of four Aztecs to score in double digits in the game.
Stallworth continued to be the Aztecs leading scorer with 17 points to go with five steals.
Pima lost back-to-back games for the first time this season on Feb. 17 losing to Central Arizona College 88-76.
The Vaqueras came into the game riding an 11-game win streak.
After a close first half, the Vaqueras showed why they were meant to win their 12th game in a row when they had an 18-2 run early in the third quarter and outscored the Aztecs 29-12 in the quarter.
This loss came a month after the Aztecs won at Central Arizona for the first time since 1982.
Stallworth led the team with 21 points to go with four steals.
Both Fernander and Smith scored in double figures. Fernander grabbed 12 rebounds on her way to a double-double.
The No. 6 Aztecs lost a close game at Arizona Western College on Feb. 13.
The two teams battled back and forth all night.
After falling behind in the third period, the Aztecs went on an 11-0 run and took a 50-44 lead.
Stallworth and Banales each hit a three pointer during the run.
Pima held a five point lead with 2:10 left to play.
The Matadors held Pima scoreless the remainder of the game outscoring them 9-0 as they won 67-63.
Stallworth was the leading scorer for Pima with 19 points to go along with her 13 rebounds. Both Stallworth and Blue had double-doubles. Blue with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
March 1: at Region I, Division II Playoffs (semifinals), TBA
March 3: at Region I, Division II Playoffs finals), TBA
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.
Feb. 10: @MesaCC,7:30p.m.
Feb. 13: @ Arizona Western College, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17 Central Arizona College, West Campus,
Feb. 20: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 4 p.m.
Feb. 23: @ Scottsdale CC,
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.
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
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.
by DEANNA SHERMAN
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (4-1, 2-0 in ACCAC) took down the defending region champs at West Campus on Nov. 22.
In a 61-46 victory over Phoenix College, the Aztecs avenged their nail-biting 53-55 loss from last years Region I, Division II semifinals.
It seemed as though the game might be another close one with a little more than five minutes left in the game Pima was only up 48-40. Exceeding under pressure, the Aztecs went on a 13-6 run to finish the game strong.
Freshman Denesia Smith finished with a game high 17 points followed by sophomore Gabby Banales with 14. Fellow sophomore had an impressive 10 rebounds on the night helping Pima control the boards.
“Great win today against the defending region champs. We played solid defense and crashed the offensive boards,” Pima coach Todd Holthaus said.
Pima opened their regular season conference play Nov. 18 at home with a victory over Chandler-Gilbert Community College 77-70.
It was a tight first half as both teams battled basket-for-basket, ending the first half with the Aztecs in the lead 39-36. But it wasn’t until the third quarter that Pima began to keep a strong, consistent lead, putting Chandler-Gilbert in an 11-point deficit 26-15.
Blue had the game high score of 23 points and eight rebounds. Smith and fellow freshman Sydni Stallworth scored double digits as well; Smith with 16 points and six steals while Stallworth had 13 points and two assists.
The Pima Aztecs opened their season playing the Arizona Western Classic tournament in Yuma.
Stallworth came out of the tournament with a total 40 points, 16 rebounds, 14 assists and six steals in the three games.
In the final game of the tournament Pima took down Brookdale Community College (NJ) in a 94-38 blowout to end the long weekend on Nov. 14.
Banales had 11 points and four rebounds on the game while Stallworth had an impressive 16 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Aztecs had a tough match-up against top 10, Division I school, New Mexico Junior College on Nov. 13.
Despite Stallworth’s game-high 19 points, six rebounds and two assists, Pima lost 55-39 with a disappointing 24 percent shooting from the field.
Fortunately that would be Pima’s only loss and toughest match of the season so far.
In the opening game of the tournament the Aztecs had the opposite effect on the court, destroying Cetys University (Mexico) 86-29, Nov. 12.
Four Pima Aztecs scored double figures and outrebounded Cetys 41-27. Blue led PCC in scoring with 22 points, followed by sophomore Shalise Fernander with 15 points and seven rebounds. Banales had 10 points on the board as well as freshman Aubre Fortner.
Stallworth was named ACCAC Division II Player of the Week for the week after leading the Aztecs to a 2-1 record in the Arizona Western Classic in Yuma. She totaled 40 points, 16 rebounds, 14 assists and six steals.
The Aztecs travel to Thatcher Nov. 27-28 where they will participate in the Thanksgiving Classic.