In a showdown of region leaders, Phoenix Pinnacle held off visiting Tempe Marcos de Niza to take 63-56 win Tuesday in a 5A-II Pima Region girls basketball game.
The Pioneers (21-3, 4-0) led 53-38 going into the final period, but after Jenna Littleton stretched the lead to 17 on an assist from Kacie Donovan, the Padres (13-10, 3-1) went on an 13-2 run to make a game of it.
Joy Burke, limited by foul trouble in the first half, scored off a rebound to pull the Padres to 57-51. But Jordan Clark, who had already hit two 3-pointers in the period, missed a 3 and Joann Alli scored on a fast break for Pinnacle. The sophomore scored again on an assist from Kirstyn Shaw, who had seven in the game, and the Pioneers had weathered the storm.
“We saw them come back on Highland yesterday, so we knew they would make a surge,” Pinnacle coach Jackie Van Patten said.
Marcos coach Matt Bjorklund thought the Highland loss had left his Padres with a hangover.
“The Highland game was in our heads,” he said.
Pioneer 6-foot-4 freshman Alexandra Rohde, who had 10 rebounds and five blocks, held the 6-5 Burke to 19 with help from Pinnacle’s 3-2 defense.
“I did what I could, going into the second half with three fouls,” she said.
Pinnacle took control late in the first half with three 3-pointers in the final minute.
The Padres had built a six-point lead in the first quarter with a 7-0 run out of their passing offense.
But Pinnacle posted an 8-0 run in the final 1:22 to lead 14-12 at the quarter. Rohde nailed a three-point play then Donovan, who finished with 17 to lead the Pioneers, hit a driving layup right before the buzzer.
Clark led all scorers with 23.