Mesa, AZ- A game that everyone knew was going to be decided at the final seconds lived up to its reputation as the Pima Aztecs made a layup with one second left on the clock to defeat the Thunderbirds on their home court, 72-70.
With 17 lead changes and 14 ties, the Mesa-Pima women's basketball rivarly added another chapter to its storied history.
Mesa jumped out quickly to a 5-0 lead, all points coming from Erica Vasquez(So., Mesa, AZ, Red Mountain H.S.) but from then on it was a continous back and forth.
The back and forth continued until the 4:45 mark when Didi Moloi(So., Gilbert, AZ, Campo Verde H.S.) broke a 26-26 tie with a layup followed on the next possession with a made free throw. Mesa's Janessa Auckward(Fr., Laveen, AZ, Sierra Linda H.S.) then connected on a three pointer to extend the T-Bird lead to seven, which was Mesa's largest lead of the game.
Auckward hit another three pointer before the half to put Mesa up 36-32 heading into the locker room.
Kylie Herd(So., Phoenix, AZ, Arcadia H.S.) led the charge for Mesa out of the halftime break, scoring four of the first eights points and helping Mesa extend its lead to 44-38.
Pima just would not go away as they battled back and at the 10:34 mark of the second half, took the lead 50-49. Mesa went nearly six and half minutes and scored five points.
From the ten minute mark on, both teams countered each other with points, turnovers and fouls.
In the final ten minutes alone there were 12 lead changes and five ties.
Brianna Clah(Fr., Chinle, AZ, Many Farms, AZ) connected on two huge three pointers that on both occassions regained the lead for the T-Birds. Clah scored 10 of her career high 13 points in the final minutes for Mesa.
Both teams went into the final minute tied at 70 but it was a Pima layup that sealed the victory for the Aztecs in the final seconds to secure a 72-70 victory.
Mesa moves to 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the conference. Mesa will have a two week break before starting action back up again on December 29th.