February 26, 2005
The Seton Catholic girls didn't want to set any speed records Friday night at Glendale Arena.
The Sentinels were quite content to play half-court basketball against a Monument Valley team that coach Karen Self says plays at a "frantic'' pace.
The game plan worked as Seton (28-6) advanced to tonight's 3A state title game with a 52-43 victory over the Mustangs.
“We controlled the pace,” Self said.
Seton will play Winslow, a team that beat the Sentinels earlier in the season.
“We've been waiting 117 days for this game,” Seton center Rachel Arnold said.
In the half-court game, Arnold was took over. The 6-foot-2 senior scored a season-high 13 points, seven of which came in the third quarter when the Mustangs were trying to grab the lead away from Seton.
Christina Wirth led the Sentinels with 20 points, and Lindsey Warburton added 13.
“It helped me that they were doubling Tina and Lindsey,'' Arnold said.
Seton never trailed and built a 26-18 halftime advantage.
Monument Valley got to within 26-24 early in the second half before back-to-back baskets by Arnold pushed the Sentinels' lead to 30-24 with 5:30 left.
Seton's lead was 36-24 heading into the fourth quarter. Two minutes later the Mustangs cut the gap to 36-30.
“For our team, we had too many turnovers (18) and that hurt us,” Self said. “They are a great team. They went undefeated in their region, and it’s the best region in the state.”
Monument Valley's last run cut the lead to 43-41, but Wirth and Warburton responded with back-to-back hoops to put the Sentinels safely in front.