GC VILLAGE — Looking like a seasoned veteran instead of a freshman who had not scored all night, Tiffany Monroe hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left in the game to lift Grand Canyon past Seligman, 37-34, Friday night.
Grand Canyon's Maria Durfey fights for a basket inside against Seligman on Friday evening.
The Lady Phantoms trailed Seligman, 34-33, and had possession with the seconds ticking away. In a shot most coaches would not advise, Monroe made a three-point goal from a few feet beyond the arch. Not only did the ball go through the cylinder, but she was fouled on the play.
Monroe hit the free throw for a rare four-point play. In fact, it was the only four-point play Aldaz had seen in his coaching career with the Lady Phantoms.
The three-pointer was not what Aldaz had in mind for the last possession.
"I told them that we needed to be patient," Aldaz said. "I told Melissa (Monroe), Sam's (Samantha Stickler) out of the game and don't be afraid to put the ball up."
It was the younger sister who wasn't afraid to put the ball up.
Grand Canyon trailed by 11 points with 2 minutes left in the third quarter, but battled back to within 34-33 with a fourth quarter run.
With 25 seconds left, Maria Durfey missed a shot for the lead and on the rebound, Stickler was called for a foul, her fifth of the game. Stickler was the team's top scorer with 13 points.
After making a stop on defense, the Phantoms took the ball downcourt and before Seligman knew what happened, Tiffany Monroe had put up the three-pointer.
It was a sweet moment for the girls basketball team after a season of rebuilding.
"I told them as the season goes along, we'll get better," Aldaz said. "A lot of them because they were so young had never played basketball at this level.
The Lady Phantoms could meet Seligman again this week.
The Class 1A North region tournament pairings were not released prior to the newspaper's deadline. Games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Fredonia.
GRAND CANYON 37, SELIGMAN 34
Friday at Grand Canyon
Scoring by quarters:
Seligman 13 9 10 2—34
Grand Canyon 10 8 6 13—37
Grand Canyon Scoring:
Illanda Bitsui 3 2-11 8, Samantha Stickler 5 3-7 13, Maria Durfey 1 2-8 4, Melissa Monroe 3 0-0 7, Tiffany Monroe 1 2-7 5. Totals 13 9-33 37.
Three-point goals: M. Monroe, T. Monroe.