It seems as if the Iceman is drawn toward lady demons being that I have met so many in my life, actually divorcing one long ago, but the Lady Demons that I witnessed last evening were the ballers from Greenway High School. They played host to the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks in the second round of the girls 4A state tournament. The Lady Demons came away with the victory 60-39 to advance to the elite 8 and will take on, what some think are the favorite to win states, Thunderbird High Friday night.
I was surprised when I entered the gym and saw the Ironwood
girls during warm-ups. They looked quick and they definitely had a huge
size advantage over the Demons. I did not have the numbers but it
looked as if 4 out of their 5 starters where close to or over six feet
tall. Contrary to that of the Greenway girls who really only have
one starter of that height, but the Lady Demons where not intimidated and
this was evident right from the start.
Both teams came out ready
to play and it seemed as if they had trouble controlling their excitement,
resulting in some sloppy play and turnovers. Turnovers where going to end
up being important to the outcome of this game, but at this point, who
knew. Finally toward the middle of the second, it was becoming
obvious who wanted this game more and who would make the adjustments to get
this victory. Greenway knew that they were much quicker and began
pressing early on resulting in about 20 Nighthawk turnovers. Capitalizing on
these turnovers and the strong inside play of sophomore Morgan Bliss finally
took it's toll on the Ironwood girls who played the Demons tough in the
first, only being down two (16-14) to begin the second. It was midway
through the second that they began to feel the pressure and countered by
bringing a bit more speed and ball handling ability into the line-up, but
by this time it was too late. The Lady Demons had found
their confidence and where not going to let this one slip away. At
the half the score was 34-25 in favor of Greenway.
half of this contest was not as exciting as the first as Greenway began
to pull away. Led by sophomore Morgan Bliss (17 pts.) and senior Jackie
Arnold (15 pts.), the Demons showed why they were tops in the Desert Sky
Region. Along with Bliss' 17 points, she was a force inside blocking
4 Nighthawk shots and grabbing 10+ rebounds. At only a sophomore, look
for Bliss to be one of the state's elite in the years to come.
Top scorers for the Nighthawks were Lindsey Miller with 12 points
and Amanda Pauly with 10. It was a gutsy performance by the
Ironwood girls but the quickness of the Demons was just too much for them on
this night. It is without a doubt that the Ironwood Ridge girls will be
back in the tournament next year.
Greenway will play
Thunderbird High School on Friday night for an invitation to America West
Arena and a spot in the Final Four.
Greenway Lady Demons to the Elite 8
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