These two teams are back again and will battle for the Region I / ACCAC DII Championship crown tonight at Theo Heap Gym with a tip off at 7:30 pm.
It was only a short year ago that these two teams met down in Tucson for a chance to go to the Big Dance. To look at the rosters, some of the same key players are involved but with extrememly different circumstances.
The Mesa Thunderbirds are healthy, strong and confident. They also bolster a lineup of more than seven players, unlike last season's team that hoppled into playoff's. But players like Allies Fuller and Sham Troupe remember all too well that terrible gut feeling of leaving Pima's gym last season, thinking of what might have been.
Fuller and Troupe, along with Tori Lloyd, Quynne Huggins, Takara Wade and Anessa Glenn, look to change their fortunes tonight, as they entered the tournament as the #1 seed. They beat a fiesty Phoenix College on Tuesday, 70-49, outscoring the Bears, 45-20 in the second half alone.
The T-Birds will face a #2 seed Pima Aztec team that defeated the #3 seed Scottsdale Artichokes, 86-76, in Tucson Tuesday evening. In the season series with Pima, Mesa won both games, in nail biting fashion.
With four seconds to play in regulation, tied at 81, down in Tucson, Allies Fuller connected on a 30 foot three-pointer at the buzzer to give Mesa an 84-81 win. Then on February 25th at Mesa, the T-Birds won a two point barn burner, 60-58.
So tonight's championship bout is due to be an instant classic. If you can't happen to make it person, click on the link below and follow along with T-Bird Sports Live.