Round One of the 4A State Tournament found the Iceman visiting Scottsdale to witness the Chaparral Firebirds play host to the Bradshaw Mountain Bears. The atmosphere was not that of a first round game when I arrived at 6:40. The parking lot was empty, my pregame hot dog was not fully cooked, and the scorers table still did not have the roster from the visiting team. But hey, this is tournament basketball and I soon found myself in a sea of Chaparral fans in battle with a couple hundred BM fans for control of the gym airways.
This game could not have started
any better for the Firebirds with Andrew Washko winning the opening tip,
a quick pass to Ike Davis, a sweet Davis head fake, then a crowd pleasing
monster jam. But for three quarters of this game, neither team really
could build up any momentum and gain control of the tempo. When one
team was sloppy, the other answered with sloppier play. When one
team caught fire, the other team answered. It looked as if these
two teams where cloning themselves, or, was this like a boxing matchwith
one fighter feeling out the other, patiently waiting for that
knockout blow. The bell for the final round was about to ring. The
third quarterended with the score 45-44 in favor of the Firebirds.
The fourth quarter was owned by the Firebirds as they dominated
every aspect of the final eight minutes outscoring the Bears 17-5 on
their way to a 62-49 victory. Both teams began to press and look
for that one player to take control. Chaparral's Andrew Washko answered
the call scoring 11 of his 25 points in the final quarter while watching
his defense completely shut down the Bears offense. Bradshaw
Mountain's big guns Lance Jacobs, Logan Chilton, and Seth Heinbaugh were
basically silenced in the fourth only combining for 5 points. Each
finished the game with 15, 6, and 14 points respectably. Not the
accustomed point total for this trio.
Washko and junior guard
J.J. Fonville (12 points) provided the majority of the Firebird's scoring
but my MVP goes out to their defense for putting on a show, especially in
the final eight minutes. They were quick, tenacious, and when
necessary, physical. If they are going to advance past the
second round though, a solid eight minute performance must be replaced by
a solid 32. Chaparral moves on to play McCLintock tonight and will
need to step up their play if they want to come out with a victory.
The game will be at McClintock High and tip off is set for 7:00
pm. PrepAZ will be in the house. See you there!
Chaparral Advances To Sweet 16
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