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Tue, Oct. 15

Vikes rally to beat Mogollon on Senior Night

The Williams High School girls basketball team dominated the last 90 seconds of Friday's Senior Night game against Mogollon to take a key conference win, 51-48.

The Lady Vikings could not put the pesky Mustangs away and found themselves in a tie with 1:32 left in regulation.

After Lyssa Mulvihill hit a three-pointer from the corner to break the tie with 1:17 remaining, Mogollon pulled to within one point seconds later on a turnaround jumpshot.

But in the final minute, the Vikings were able to control the game, hit a couple of free throws and snagged the victory.

"We couldn't get the ball into the hole," Williams coach Lorenzo Rodriguez said, referring the first three quarters. "A lot of those were easy baskets."

Williams had turnover problems early as Mogollon vaulted out to an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes. But the Lady Vikes ended the quarter with a 14-0 run to find themselves on top, 16-11.

Mulvihill was a key player in the first quarter run by scoring nine of those points from all over the court — on a three-pointer, on a layup after a steal, on an offensive rebound and at the free-throw line.

In the second quarter, Williams scored in the first minute on a shot by Sylvia Aguilar, but then the offense disappeared again. The team scored only one more basket in the final seven minutes of the first half, that coming after an offensive rebound by Helen Schimanowski.

Mogollon took advantage of the opportunity and hit a shot with one second left in the half for a 22-20 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Williams' offensive woes continued with only six more points. Fortunately for the Vikes, the defense was playing well and Mogollon's lead was only seven points heading into the fourth.

The two teams battled back and forth in the final period. Williams worked away the deficit and tied the game, 43-43, with 2:13 remaining on a three-point play by Hillary Wamble.

The Vikings then took the lead on a three-pointer by Ashley Rocha, her second of the fourth quarter. That set up the final thrilling 90 seconds.

Trailing 49-48, Mogollon grabbed a rebound and tried a long pass across court on a fast-break chance. Dee Dee Fogg intercepted the pass, however, and was then fouled with 13 seconds left.

Fogg made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Vikes a two-point cushion.

The Williams defense then came up big again with six seconds left when the pressure took its toll on the Mustang defense and they threw the ball away.

After being fouled, Mulvihill made 1-of-2 free throws with three seconds left. Mogollon could not get off a final shot and the victory belong to the Vikes.

"We would get the ball into Helen and when there were two players on her, someone would be open," Rodriguez said about the offensive outburst in the fourth quarter.

Mulvihill finished the game with 21 points, including a pair of three-pointers. Schimanowski scored 14 points and was another key player during the fourth quarter comeback.

Earlier in the week, Williams posted a 53-37 victory over Orme. Rocha came up big from the three-point line in this one with four baskets from beyond the arch.

"Ashley hit the four three's and the defense stepped in and got it going," Rodriguez said.

Williams led by five points after the first quarter and upped the advantage to seven by halftime.

In the third quarter, the Lady Vikes put the game away and had a 16-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

The two teams played evenly in the final period.

Rocha made seven baskets in all during the game and finished with 18 points to represent the lone Viking to hit double figures.

Williams (6-1, 13-4) needed both victories to keep hopes alive of a conference title and to clinch a home appearance in regionals.

The Lady Vikes played after deadline Tuesday at St. Johns. A victory would force a tie for first place in the Canyon Region and a game would be played at a neutral site on Thursday to determine the champion.

The champion receives a first-round bye at regionals. If St. Johns won the title, Williams will host a Four Corners Region team Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

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