By Jessie Vanderson
A suddenly dangerous Scottsdale Community College women’s team will host Pima CC Saturday night (Feb. 11) at Artichokes Gym in a must win Arizona Com-munity College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) game for both squads. Tip off is at 7 p.m.
Since breaking a nine game losing streak with a 78-53 win over host Tohono O’odham in Sells on Jan 18, the Artichokes (9-13, 7-8) of head coach Bike Medder have won six straight games. They knocked off a scrappy Glendale (8-14, 4-11) team 65-61 Saturday afternoon in Glendale. Pima (17-5, 11-4) saw its four game winning streak snapped in a 92-87 defeat to Eastern Arizona Col-lege in an ACCAC game played Saturday in Thatcher.
A loss Saturday to the Artichokes would all but kill the Aztecs’ hopes of repeating as ACCAC regular season Division II champs, and hosting the NJCAA Region I -Division II Playoffs Championships Tourna-ment for a second straight year. Mesa, tied for the ACCAC lead with Cochise College, an ACCAC Division I school, is leading the ACCAC Division II with a 12-3 record. Mesa (16-5 overall), defeated Tohono O’odham 70-50 Saturday in Sell to post its fifth straight win since defeating host Pima 84-81 on Jan. 18.
For the Artichokes, Saturday’s contest will be the biggest women’s basketball on their campus in nearly a decade. A win for Scottsdale would all but guarantee them a spot in the Div. II championship tournament. Only the top four finishers for the Div. II regular season qualify for the post-season tournament. Scottsdale is currently tied with Phoenix College (10-12, 7-8) for the No. 7 spot in the ACCAC standing, and for the all important No. 3 spot in Div. II. The No. 3 seeded team in the tournament will play the No. 2 in the first-round of the Div. II tournament next month at the gym of the higher seed. The No. 4 team will play the No. 1 seed in the first-round at the gym of the higher seed.
Saturday’s game will feature a match of two of the best guard tandems in the ACCAC.
Scottsdale’s starting pair of sophomore Porshae Hearn and freshman Shakila Boler will attempt to throttle Pima’s outstanding unit of sophomore stalwarts Sydni Stallworth and Denesia Smith. The difference in the game may come down to the play of Scottsdale’s bigger and more physical front court led by Anya McDonnell and Stella Sohl.
Pima’s starting front court of sophomore forwards Erin Peterson and Bree Cates and sophomore center Moana Hala’ufia, rely on quickness and speed to get the job done around the basket. Cates is one of the top 3-point shooters in the ACCAC.
The Aztecs will host a struggling Phoenix South Mountain (5-12, 2-12) Wednesday before heading up for Saturday’s tussle with the Artichokes.
Scottsdale will head down the Douglas Trail to play a powerful Cochise College Wednes-day afternoon in Douglas.
Saturday’s contest in Scottsdale will be a rare Saturday night game for both teams. They will tip off at 5 p.m.