St. Michael Lady Cardinals claim state championship

Baboquivari Warriors defeated, 60-40 at 1A state finals Feb. 24

St. Michael Lady Cardinals Head Coach Carl Adams, Ali Upshaw, Chrissa Duncan, Lynelle Slim, Jalynn Smith, Sydney Terry, Kiara Kasuse, Star Anderson, Desbah Largo, Taylor Foster, Aurianna Quintana, Sherilynn Herrera and Delila Nakaidinae are joined by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez after winning the 1A Arizona Girls State Championship in Prescott Valley Feb. 24. (Anton Wero/NHO)

St. Michael Lady Cardinals Head Coach Carl Adams, Ali Upshaw, Chrissa Duncan, Lynelle Slim, Jalynn Smith, Sydney Terry, Kiara Kasuse, Star Anderson, Desbah Largo, Taylor Foster, Aurianna Quintana, Sherilynn Herrera and Delila Nakaidinae are joined by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez after winning the 1A Arizona Girls State Championship in Prescott Valley Feb. 24. (Anton Wero/NHO)

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Baboquivari Warriors defeated, 60-40 at 1A state finals Feb. 24. (Anton Wero/NHO)

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — When asked what it will take for the St. Michael Lady Cardinals to repeat as 1A State Girls Champions, Coach Carl Adams said, “Play Cardinal basketball, play northland basketball — get into their face, fast up tempo pressure defense, with motion quickness and speed.”

When senior Delila Nakaidinae was asked about the Cardinals return trip to the championship game, her response was, “We didn’t want to let anyone (fans) down.”

St. Michael defeated the Ray Lady Bearcats, 56-49, to make it to the 1A finals, the BaboquivariWarriors won over the Rock Point Lady Cougars, 51-36.

The Lady Warriors of Baboquivari took an early lead, in the opening quarter, 12 - 11. St. Michael answered with a five-point advantage at the half, outscoring the Lady Warriors, 24-18 and took the lead for good, at intermission, 35-30.

The Lady Warriors came out in the second half with a 13 point run, to enhance their lead, 48-30, with less than two minutes left in third quarter. The third quarter ended with the Lady Cardinals leading, 50-35.

In the final quarter, both teams cleared their benches giving the underclassmen .some experience for the upcoming season. The Lady Cardinals won convincingly, 60-40.

“It’s unbelievable,” said senior playmaker Jalynn Smith. “We worked hard all year long — it finally paid off.”

Smith led the Cardinals with 19 points, followed by Star Anderson with 16 points.

Autumn Nelson had a tying game high with 19 points, teammate Blossom Gonzales added 12 points, for the Lady Warriors.

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