Marcos de Niza's girls basketball team came out firing Friday morning and its defense was stellar throughout.
A three-point shooting barrage in the first period jump-started the Lady Padres to a 52-35 win over West Campus (Sacramento, Calif.) in NIke Tournament of Champions at Arizona College Prep in Chandler.
The victory vaults Marcos de NIza (11-3) to the championship game of the Red Division, one of 12 divisions containing the 84-team field. Marcos de Niza plays the ????//-???? winner at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday (Dec. 21) at Perry High.
Sophia Anaya and Jorie Mayfield supplied the offense and the 3-point marksmanship that paced Marcos de Niza to a 19-13 lead after one quarter. Anaya sank three threes and Mayfield two in the opeing period. Anaya finished with a game-high 17 points, doing most of the rest of her damage in transition and penetration in the lane. Mayfield tallied 16 points — 10 inh the opening period and six in the third.
Marcos de Niza broke the game open in the third period outscoring West Campus 16-2 to lead 42-22 after three quarters. Despite turning the ball over seven times in the period, Marcos managed to put up eight shots from the field and made seven.
“We did shoot well, and we like taking threes,” Marcos de Niza coach Jermaine Whitaker said. “What I liked best was our defense. We played tough. They had a couple of good scorers and we did a good job denying them the ball. Kaelin Shaffer did a really good job defending their top scorer.”
West Campus' leading scorer is Barbara Keomany. Keomany averages 18 points a game and was limited to six. She made two threes in the second period to help West Campus stay within six (26-20) at halftime. For the game Keomany was only 2-for-10.
Shaffer, who is 5-foot-10 witha lanky frame, kept Keomany from possession and when she did receive the ball forced her to take shots longer than she was accustomed. A couple of the shots were taken out of frustration when Keomany was able to get space to shoot. Namiko Adams led West Campus with 14 points, but again shot a poor percentage, connecting on 5-of-17.
Marcos de Niza has just three losses and two were to Division I's Desert Vista. The Lady Padres would love to take home a division title at the NIke TOC and then set their sights on Division II play after the holidays.