Saguaro bolted to a 9-0 in the first three minutes Tuesday afternoon and went on to elimiinate No. 18 Peoria, 60-45, in the Division II girls basketball quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena.
Saguaro (25-7), the No. 10 seed this year and defending state champion, advances to Thursday's (Feb. 27) semifinals where it will meet the Cienega-Cibola winner at 2:30 p.m. at Jobing.com. Arena. Peoria, which won two close early round games, finished the season 23-8.
“We had a different energy level and I think our experience showed,” Saguaro coach Chris Young said. “It's taken us awhile to get to where we want to be this year. We're playing pretty well right now.”
Saguaro was led by senior guard Casey Rarrick and junior guard Jelani Huma. Rarrick scored a game-high 20 points and heated in the second half after a cold-shooting first half. Rarrick made 4-of-6 shots in the second half, Three of them were 3s. She made 5 3s for the game. Huma helped Saguaro start fast, scoring 11 of her 15 points in the first half. Amber Rollins added nine points in a reserve role.
Saguaro never trailed in the game and on a couple occasions when Peoria made runs to cut double-digit leads to six, Saguaro answered by beating Peoria in transition or by getting open looks on 3s and making them. Peoria's second run in the third period pulled the Panthers within 37-31, but a 9-2 burst to end the quarter essentially finished Peoria's chance at victory.
Senior guard Alexis Camacho led Peoria with 16 points and teammate Taylor Blue added 14 points.