Coach Kati Burrows calls her team “scrappy and tenacious,” and they needed every ounce of that Tuesday.
The Maricopa Rams girls basketball team won the sectional game against Williams Field, 50-49, thanks to a second-half comeback and a last-second shot.
“Sydni Callis, our freshman forward, hit a floater from the baseline,” Burrows said. “So it was a good win for us. We needed that.”
The Rams, ranked No. 10 in Division II, came out strong, building a 15-6 first-quarter lead. But the Black Hawks stormed to a 26-23 halftime advantage.
Burrows said she told the girls at the break they needed to get back to the style of play they had exhibited all season. The Rams defeated Williams Field by 10 points in their last meeting.
“They responded really well. I think at that point we were all a little frustrated because we knew that wasn’t the way that we’d been playing,” Burrows said. “And at this time of year, everybody’s giving you their best game and we’ve got to adjust and be able to take it back at them, because this is when the games count.”
Maricopa was down by one point at the end of the third period as Williams Field continued to slow down the Rams’ fast break. Getting the ball to their scorers keyed the win.
Next up in sectionals is No. 2 Seton Catholic, a team that defeated Maricopa by six in a December contest. The game is Saturday at 5:15 p.m. at Coronado High School. The Rams are working out a game plan now.
“We’re going to pretty much stick with what has made us successful,” she said. “We’ve just got to make a few adjustments.”
That success is defined by the Rams’ 24-4 record.
***ADVERTISEMENT***“Our defensive pressure has been big for us this year,” Burrows said. “We’ve been able to create a lot of turnovers and take people out on the fast break.”
While the top-10 division ranking has been important for the team and the ranking system has been helpful during the season as a measuring stick, it doesn’t have a role in the playoffs.
“Once we get through the sectional tournament, next week it’s win or go home,” she said.