Aztec women rally but fall short by 14 in NJCAA nat’l quarterfinals, won’t go to final four

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (26-8) battled with the Community College of Baltimore County on Wednesday for a chance to go to the NJCAA Division II tournament final four.

The No. 7-seeded Aztecs fell behind in the third quarter and battled in the fourth quarter, but fell 89-75 in the end to the No. 2-seeded Knights. The Aztecs move into the fifth-place consolation bracket where they will play No. 6 Bryant & Stratton College (WI) on Thursday at 3 p.m. (12 p.m. Tucson time).

The Aztecs trailed 43-40 but the Knights closed out the third quarter on a 25-8 run in the final 5:50, putting Pima down 68-48 entering the fourth. CCBC-Essex outscored the Aztecs 37-17 for the quarter.

The Aztecs started off the fourth quarter with a three-pointer from sophomore Luisa Chavez (Rio Rico HS) and Pima slowly chipped away. Sophomore Angel Addleman (Palo Verde HS) scored to make it 72-55 forcing the Knights to call timeout at the 7:19 mark. Sophomore Matehya Aberle (Holbrook HS) and Addleman scored on back-to-back possessions to make it 72-59 and the Knights called another timeout with 6:10 remaining. Chavez hit a three-pointer to cap off a 16-5 run as Pima closed it to single digits at 73-64 with 4:59 left on the clock.

The teams traded baskets with Pima’s coming from sophomore Torrance Begay (Page HS) to again make it a nine-point deficit at 75-66. The Knights scored the next five points to put it at 80-66 but the Aztecs responded with free throws from Aberle and Chav