KINGMAN - Since Nov. 4, and even long before that, the Kingman High girls basketball team has worked hard for this moment.
The Lady Bulldogs host Tucson Canyon Del Oro at 7 p.m. today in the first round of the AIA Division II Girls Basketball State Tournament.
"The girls are excited to be in state, and especially to be hosting one at home," said KHS coach Danny Gonzalez. "There's a lot of pride and they should have that."
Canyon Del Oro and Kingman are similar in that both teams are heavy with seniors. The Dorados start five seniors and the Lady Bulldogs start four. Gonzalez said that Canyon Del Oro likes to penetrate, dish the ball to the outside and likes to shoot 3s. The Dorados play a lot of zone defensively and will go to man-to-man every so often. Expect Canyon Del Oro to apply some pressure throughout the game.
"They have one girl who may miss four to five in a row, but then she can make four to five in a row," the coach said. "She doesn't stop shooting."
The Dorados are a well-balanced team in the scoring department with four players averaging about 10 points per game.
For Kingman, it's about doing what they do best and taking advantage of opportunities.
"If we play our game, I'm confident we'll do well," Gonzalez said. "We've thought back to some things that hurt us this year, and we have to make those wide-open layups."
The winner of today's contest plays at No. 4 seed Thunderbird at 7 p.m. Friday. Kingman's athletic director wants it to be known that Kingman High passes will not be accepted for today's game. The contest is an AIA function and only AIA passes will be accepted. The cost is $8 for adults, $6 for students with I.D., and children five and under are free.
The Colorado River Region announced its awards Tuesday. The region includes Kingman, Kingman Academy, Lee Williams, Parker, Lake Havasu, River Valley and Mohave.
Kingman's Desirae Gonzalez, a sophomore, was named Most Valuable Player by the CRR.
Seniors Taylor Reed and Alison Owen were named to the First Team.
Senior Stephanie Goulart made Second Team, and seniors Heather Weninger and Rachel Arave were named as Honorable Mention.