Brooke Seavitt started the night with a bang for Ironwood Ridge and teammate Kristen Dohm sealed the win as the Nighthawks won their 10th straight game and defeated Tucson 41-37.
The Nighthawks are ranked third in the state in 5A-II play, while Tucson is the fifth-seeded team in 5A-I play.
The Nighthawks ended their season this week with a game at Salpointe on Tuesday, and will host Rincon on Friday at 7 p.m.
Seavitt scored 15 of her game-high 17 points in the first half, when she made five of six shots from the floor.
“I’m kind of sick,” Seavitt admitted afterward. “I had to focus more on shooting.”
The Nighthawks opened the game with an 8-2 run, but the Badgers kept in the running with near-pinpoint shooting. A team that could either score in the paint or out on the perimeter, the visiting Badgers shot 60 percent in the first quarter and 45 percent for the night.
“They’re an athletic team,” Seavitt acknowledged. “They played tough.”
Dohm’s three-point basket, the Nighthawks only trey of the night, broke a 32-32 tie with 1:05 left in the game. Shortly afterward, Dohm followed up with a lay-up to make it 37-32.
Dohm finished with nine points on four-of-seven shooting. Sarah O’Keefe scored seven points and was 4-4 from the foul line for the Nighthawks.
In the second quarter, it looked like the Badgers’ hot-shooting offense would give them the lead. Then the Nighthawks closed on an 8-0 run for a 26-23 halftime lead.
“It was fun to watch,” said Nighthawks coach Don Dickinson. “We’re a very good shooting team.”
Defense ruled the roost in the third quarter with only 10 points scoring in the period. Seavitt cooled off, obviously fatigued by her illness.
However, Seavitt’s lay-up on a fast break gave the Nighthawks a 32-29 lead to open the fourth. That lead was short-lived when the Badgers’ Tracy Valdez buried a trey to tie. The game remained deadlocked until Dohm’s three-pointer more than three minutes later.
Valdez led the Badgers with 10 points on three three-pointers.
“We hope to close the season out strong,” Dickinson said. “We’re in control of our own destiny.”
The Nighthawks have a chance to host one or two playoff games, depending on what happens in the final week.
While the team is red-hot right now, there are still some areas that need sharpening going into the postseason.
“We’re not a great defensive team or rebounding team,” Dickinson said.
Going forward, Seavitt likes her team’s chances.
“When someone cools off,” Seavitt said, “another one steps up.”