Mesa, AZ- The lady T-Birds fought out a tough victory against ACCAC division opponent, the Scottsdale Artichokes, Saturday night, 62-53.
Mesa jumped out quickly to a 4-0 lead within the first 30 seconds and it seem as though it would be another easy victory over a Scottsdale team who in years past would have giving up then and there. Not this time. The Artichokes answered the T-Birds right back and at the 15:26 mark had taken the lead, 13-12.
Natalie Stillwell(Fr., Fountain Hill H.S., Fountain Hill, AZ) was able to get the lead back for Mesa with two easy layups on back to back possesions.
Scottsdale continued to fight back, using full court pressure and zone defense to force bad passes by Mesa, which the Artichokes turned into points. Scottsdale also live by the three in the first half, connecting on five out of the 13 they shot.
Mesa though connected on three's of its own, as Cherokee Davis(Fr., Mountain View H.S., Fort McDowell, AZ) nailed a three to close a Scottsdale margin to one, followed by a layup by Destinee Wright(R-Fr., Tolleson H.S., LaJoya, CA). After a missed Scottsdale three, Kyndell Kelly(Fr., Flagstaff H.S., Flagstaff, AZ) knocked down a three to put the T-Birds back up 33-29.
Megan Gillespie(So., Arcadia H.S., Phoenix, AZ) connected on a layup and jump shot near the end of the first half to extend the Mesa lead.
Coming out of the second half, Mesa continued to extend its lead, getting up by as much as eight, with a chance to blow the Artichokes away. Scottsdale went stone cold from the field, especially from three, where they shot a miserable 1-15 from three in the second half.
Scottsdale went nearly seven minutes before making a free throw, and at the 10:56 mark, it was a 46-40 Mesa lead. Though down, Scottsdale continued its defensive pressure, forcing T-Bird turnovers, outscoring Mesa 10-2 and overtaking the lead, 50-48, with 4:15 remaining in the game.
Brianna Clah(Fr., Many Farms H.S., Chinle, AZ) changed the momentum for good for Mesa when she drained a three pointer to regain the lead, which the T-Birds never let go. Jump shots by Erica Vasquez(So., Red Mountain H.S., Mesa, AZ) and Megan Gillespie extended the lead further and Mesa held on for the victory, 62-53.
With the win, Mesa moves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACCAC. Mesa will head to Cochise next Wednesday and be back home against Arizona Western Nov. 25th at 5:30 p.m.