2/13/2014 6:00:00 AM Lady Bulldogs stumble down the stretch
Despite loss, Kingman should land top-16 seed in state tournament
Kingman High’s Desirae Gonzalez launches a 3-pointer Jan. 28 against River Valley. Gonzalez recorded a double-double in Tuesday’s 62-58 loss to Flagstaff with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
KINGMAN - Two turnovers in the final 42 seconds made the difference Tuesday when the Kingman High girls basketball team was eliminated from the Division II, Section 1 tournament by Flagstaff, 62-58.
Kingman (16-3 D-II) made a valiant comeback attempt after trailing 59-52 with 2:10 remaining. The Lady Bulldogs went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line to pull within one but couldn't get over the hump for the victory. Those turnovers got in the way.
"We just got caught up when we were making that run," said KHS coach Danny Gonzalez. "It was going so fast that we forgot to slow down when we had the ball."
Kingman got off to a fast start just like it did a week ago when they beat Flagstaff (13-6), 55-28. The Lady Bulldogs led 22-14 at the end of the first quarter, but the Eagles fought back in the second to close the gap, 31-29.
"We started off great," Gonzalez said. "There was a stretch where we missed a lot of layups. We just couldn't finish."
Flagstaff captured the lead in the third quarter and never gave it back. The Eagles led at the end of the quarter, 48-42.
"They boxed Dez (Gonzalez), so we did what we could do to get it inside," the coach said. "But then we stopped looking inside, began rushing our shots and weren't paying attention to the floor."
Despite being boxed, Gonzalez produced a double-double for the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Reed led Kingman with 22 points. Stephanie Goulart finished with eight points and five steals, Alison Owen scored eight points and dished out six assists, and Rachel Arave tallied three points.
"For whatever reason, we played down and didn't concentrate on what we should have done as a group," Gonzalez said. "We got a little frustrated at times and lost our focus."
Kingman won't get a top-eight seed when the state tournament begins Wednesday, which would have meant a first-round bye and home court in the second round. The Lady Bulldogs should remain in the top 16, which would give them home court in the first round. They would have to travel in the second round.
"We put ourselves where we're at," the coach said. "Regardless, we'll have to play who we play."
Flagstaff meets Coconino (13-4) for the Section 1 championship Saturday. That winner is guaranteed to be in the top eight. All the section tournaments conclude Saturday, and the AIA will announce the state tournament seedings on AIA365.com at 1 p.m. Sunday.