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Canyon View girls get redempion in 5A basketball rematch

Jaguars beat Sunrise Mountain in overtime

Posted 3/4/24

PHOENIX - Canyon View's night for revenge was turning into something much worse - a repeat.

A year after the girls basketball program made its first 5A state finals appearance and lost 52-47 to …

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Canyon View girls get redempion in 5A basketball rematch

Jaguars beat Sunrise Mountain in overtime


PHOENIX - Canyon View's night for revenge was turning into something much worse - a repeat.

A year after the girls basketball program made its first 5A state finals appearance and lost 52-47 to Sunrise Mountain, they were back. And they were losing 37-32 with less than a minute to go in this year's final ... to a very different and much less experienced Sunrise Mountain team.

Sophomore forward Jaila Flowers scored the final five points of regulation on two layups and a free throw to tie the game at 37 and force overtime. Flowers added five more points  in overtime, after senior Mia Burgess started it with her own three-point play, and Canyon View had its revenge and its first state title 49-41.

“We want it. We came here and we wanted to win a championship that’s what they went after today. It took us a little bit but as soon as they got their minds in that sense. They just went for it and went all out,” Canyon View coach Desirae Carranza said.

Good things happened when the Jaguars went after it. In the 24 minutes of the first three quarters, they forced nine Sunrise Mountain turnovers. In the 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime, they caused eight.

A steal set up Flowers' typing bucket, and another steal gave her team a chance to win in the final seconds. A Savanna Dotray block of Flowers sent it to overtime.

“At that point it’s all or nothing if you’re going to foul you’re going to foul. We have nothing to lose at that point so let’s go get this thing. They flipped the switch and went full court man and we just trapped in the corner. We finally played Canyon View basketball,” Carranza said.

An extra four minutes was a bit too much to ask #5 seed Sunrise Mountain (26-7). The Mustangs' five starters - guards Dotray, Jaden Maza and Laney Demaree, forward Kylee Inman and center Addison Wiemann - played every second of regulation.

If not for Wiemann's bloody lip, they would all have played all 36. While her bleeding was stopped, Kazandra Montalvo played a grand total of 11 seconds.

"Their grit and perseverance all year has been pretty incredible. We had a tough offseason and a tough preseason, with injuries and all kinds of stuff all year.  They just kept plugging away," Sunrise Mountain coach Jen Tolle said. "I don't think I've coached a team at my time at Sunrise that's improved as much as they have during the course of the season. They fought and fought until the end but that's how they've fought all year."

For much of the slow-paced game full of rough shooting percentages, it looked like the Mustangs' five ironwomen would be enough. They led 15-13 at the half, largely by limiting the Jaguars to 4-24 shooting.

Flowers started to come alive in the third quarter, with five points and three offensive rebounds, and #3 Canyon View (25-5) took a brief 23-22 lead late in the quarter. Dotray's bucket gave the defending champs the 24-23 advantage heading into the fourth.

"“We have a tight bond. We stayed together and once we got in the locker room at halftime all I told them was that the shots would fall and that we just need to play defense and we did and pushed through," Flowers said.

The teams were tied at 28 with four minutes left, and each scored nine points before the biuzzer - a veritable eruption on this Friday night.

Junior guard Jaden Maza's three from the right wing bounced off both sides of the rim, then in with 55 seconds left and an improbable repeat looked likely.

Sunrise Mountain lost double-digit scorers and three-year starters Reena Bhakta, Mackenzie Dunham and Mackenzie Nielsen to graduation from the 2023 champs. Guard and defensive specialist Abby Leahy missed what would have been her junior year with an injury.

Maza and junior guard Laney Demaree had small roles last year. Dotray was the best returning player, but had to learn how to play point guard on the fly for a lack of other options.

The 6-2 Wiemann moved in from Tennessee and helped replace a double-double machine in Dunham. Wiemann led the Mustangs Friday with 13 points and Dotray had 11 rebounds.

"The season we had getting back to this game I don't take for granted.  I told my girls it's a big deal. Teams just don't get to play in this get to play in this game every single year," Tolle said. "To watch Addy, Savanna and Jaden sort of grow together and learn how to play together as the year went on and see them elevate their game as individual players was something. Savanna's never played point guard. This was a first year thing for her and for her to step up in all these pressure situations in the playoffs and handle the ball so well, for someone who's basically played power forward in the first two years."

Now Canyon View has the powerhouse in the post with the handles to drive from the elbox in Flowers.

Like everyone else in this game she struggled greatly from the field, shooting 4-19. But she excelled at the line (9-11), and led all players with  17 points and 15 boards.

“I just give it all to my teammates, they give me all the space and put the ball in my hands and they were great today,” Flowers said.

She had help down low from the Jaguar with the most investment in the game. The other seven Canyon View players will be back next season if they choose.

Burgess will not.

“They’re all younger than me. We’re a young team. We only have two seniors and next year they’re still going to be a younger team so I wanted to make sure to push them so that they can keep on building their legacy,” she said.

She began overtime with an and-one and her teammates kept Canyon View in the lead for the duration.

Burgess finished her high school career with 10 points, seven rebounds ... and a strand of the net.

“In those types of moments I feel like I’ve taught myself to shut my brain off and let my body take over and play because I know I can. I work so hard and I can play in control because my body takes over,” Burgess said.