Lady T-Birds winning season at 13-5

Stephen Peck
Mesa Legend

Mesa Community College (MCC) Women’s Basketball continues winning as the spring semester gets underway.   The Lady Thunderbirds used the winter break to define themselves as a cohesive unit on the hardwood. Turnovers were not nearly as abundant as before the end of the fall semester. Passing and communication was all-around better on the court. Last season, time structure changed from two 20-min halves to four 10-min quarters. The ladies are currently well over the 500 mark for the season at 13-5 and 8-2 in-conference. Barring any unforeseen issues, Lady T-Birds basketball should be a shoo-in for a playoff spot.

Theo J. Heap Gymnasium, home court for Mesa Community College, hosted the first meeting of the season against the Fighting Artichokes of Scottsdale Community College (SCC).  Leah Goodman led the charge for the Thunderbirds with 14 points. Her teammate, Diamond Fuller, complimented Goodman with 13 points.  Trae Frazier played 24 minutes but was unable to get anything into the net. Frazier did help defensively by obtaining six rebounds, second most following Fuller with seven.  MCC, 37.3 percent, would shoot a better percentage from the field than the Fighting Artichokes 34 percent.

SCC would shoot better from three-point territory, but would only take half the shots the Thunderbirds took from outside the arc.  Mesa would shoot a staggering 90 percent from the free-throw line, with the Chokes only shooting 57.1. Scottsdale’s turnovers, 24, were a big factor in the victory for the Lady T-Birds. The Lady T-Birds only committed 14 turnovers in the game.  MCC next game would be away against Cochise College. The Lady Thunderbirds would fall to the Apaches 65-45.  Goodman would lead the team, again, with 15 points, a third of the total score for Mesa. Mamita Diagne, No. 11, for the Apaches would do the same with 23 points.

The Apaches would shoot 43.5 percent from the hardwood with the Thunderbirds shooting 32 percent.  Cochise College out rebounded the MCC, 48-19. Rebounds are very important as they provide more opportunities to get the ball in the hoop and time of possession. Diagne’s 14 boards would lead the team defensively, as well as giving her a double double for the game. Lady T-Birds would claim victory, 78-64, against the 14-3 Aztecs of Pima Community College. MCC would win the point’s battle 3-4 quarters, the biggest difference coming in the third, when they scored 24 points to Pima’s 12.

Pima would lose the shooting battle from the hardwood with a bleak 30.2 percent to the Thunderbirds 42.6 percent. 3-pointers hurt the Aztecs by only making 8-32, 25 percent, while Mesa shot 13-24, 54.2 percent from 3-point territory.  Goodman was again the top scorer for MCC with 19 points. Deja Dagons and Takara Wade would be double digit scoring starters. Cheyenne Begay would come off the bench and play a big factor in the win with 16 points, second in points behind Goodman. The Aztecs would have foul trouble throughout the second half of the game and put the Thunderbirds in the bonus sometime in the fourth quarter, giving MCC two shots for every foul.  The Lady T-Birds hit the road headed to Phoenix College to face the Bears at 2pm, Saturday, Jan. 20. MCC is back at home Wednesday, Jan. 24 to face the Cougars of South Mountain Community College.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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