Team leader Tyra Williams struggled to score in the first half against Ironwood Ridge in a loss that ended the season. Photo by William Lange

Maricopa High School girls’ basketball season came to an end in the first round of the state playoffs Tuesday night.

The eighth-seeded Rams fell on their home court to No. 9 Ironwood Ridge, 52-46, in the 5A bracket.

The game was anticipated to be close, with the teams having similar strengths, but it was not expected to be as messy as it was, especially in the early going.

Maricopa shooting was ice cold though opportunities to score were abundant. Both teams racked up turnovers, especially traveling violations, as the referees kept a tight rein on the action. Passes often went awry, making execution even more difficult in a tense game.

The score was tied for the first and only time with 3:44 to go in the first quarter.  Then the Nighthawks pulled away. Maricopa moved close just once more in the middle of the second quarter but could never put together a run.

Ironwood Ridge led 22-14 at halftime, with Maricopa’s top score being six points from junior Jayla Johnson. In the second half, the majority of the scoring came from senior Tyra Williams and junior Sydni Callis, but that was only enough to hang with the Nighthawks and not overtake them.

The Rams were 19-4 overall this season and tied with Ironwood atop the 5A Metro standings.

Maricopa              6   8   11   21 — 46

Ironwood Ridge  11  11  11  19 — 52

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