KINGMAN - The Kingman High girls basketball team advanced to the Mesa Invitational championship game Tuesday night. Results were not available at deadline.
The Bulldogs improved to 7-4 with three straight wins heading into the title game, with junior Tesla Morgan leading the way in a 52-46 win over Yuma Cibola (7-3) in the semifinals.
Morgan poured in 20 points against the Raiders, including 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Lindsey Reed scored nine and Amber Caswell eight for KHS.
Despite Reed, Cassidy Elliott and Dominique Hale having two fouls, KHS only trailed by three at the half, 25-22. The Bulldogs went ahead by 10 in the third quarter, but Cibola was able to recapture the lead with four minutes to go.
"I decided to press, and Tesla really went after it," KHS coach Danny Gonzalez said. "We posted her down low, and she was able to get to the free-throw line and score the baskets."
The Bulldogs opened against Phoenix Carl Hayden (1-5). KHS took it to the Falcons, 89-32, to advance to the second round.
Reed led the way with 26 points, Morgan added 16, Elliott scored 14 and Sarah Murphy had 13.
"We pressed them early on and it worked," Gonzalez said. "We got aggressive in our man defense, and our half-court trap in the second half really shook them up."
KHS won a nail-biter in its second game, edging Mesa Westwood (5-2) on a basket by Elliott in the final seconds, 44-42. The game was tied when Elliott chased down a loose ball, turned and threw it at the basket. After bouncing around the rim, it finally dropped in with two seconds remaining. The Warriors didn't have much of a chance to tie the game, and KHS was in the semifinals.
Reed scored 11, Morgan and Murphy each had nine and Elliott finished with eight for KHS.
"It was a dog fight," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez pointed out the exceptional play of Morgan, Murphy and Caswell in all three games for KHS. The Bulldogs were excited to be playing for the championship.
"It's going to be hard," Gonzalez said. "But, hey, we're here and might as well go get it. I'm proud of them regardless of the outcome."