GIRLS BASKETBALL: Knights drop close game to Mohave
Sierra Bekkedahl led the Lake Havasu girls basketball team with 15 points but the Knights could not overcome a nailbiting finish in the Knights 34-32 loss to rival Mohave on Friday night.
Havasu was down two points with 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. During a timeout, Lake Havasu coach Karen Rockwell told her team to foul the Thunderbirds to get them on the free-throw line for a chance to get the ball back. But the Knights couldn’t get one off and the clock ran out.
Despite the loss, the Knights were coming into Friday’s game after losing by 59 points to Buckeye Union. Even without the win, it’s safe to say Havasu redeemed itself.
“This is one of the first years we put up a decent fight against Mohave,” Bekkedahl said. “The fact that we only lost by two was pretty impressive. We’ve grown a tone as a team and after (Thursday nights loss to Buckeye Union) I think this made up for that. We worked a lot harder, worked as a team and you could see the improvement in this game.”
Down 19-13 going into the second half, the Knights went on a 10-4 run in the third quarter to tie the game a 23 all.
Kaitlyn Maloney scored on a mid-range jumper at the start of the fourth quarter to give Havasu its first lead of the game, but then foul trouble struck both teams.
In all, 28 free throws were taken between Havasu and Mohave. The difference maker was most of those free throws were taken by the Thunderbirds and they were making the majority of them. The free throws Havasu attempted were not falling and the Knights were forced to catch up with contested layups.
In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, Saydra Papenfus tied the game at 32 all but Mohave pulled ahead immediately after when Daezha Goodloe scored on a fastbreak. That’s when the Knights couldn’t get off a foul — despite fouling all fourth quarter — and fell just short of a win.
“That game would have been different if we would have just made three free throws,” Rockwell said. “We missed nine free throws in general and that killed us. (Mohave) made most of theirs and that is pretty much how they scored. We just had little tiny mistakes. Get rid of those and we would have won.”
Pappefus scored seven points, Maria Mack had four and Mary Jack added three points.
Havasu is now 13-2 overall and will get it’s the first taste of West Valley regional play when it hosts Peoria on Thursday at 7 p.m.
With some players not able to make the trip Bullhead City, Mohave exploited the Lake Havasu’s boys basketball team’s out of sync rotation to beat the Knights 50-43 on Friday.
“We made a run at it in the end,” Lake Havasu coach Ted Darnell said. “We came back from an 11 point deficit. We started pressing (Mohave) and made a game out of it. But we just ran out of time in the end.
“Not having the whole team hurt us in scoring and overall chemistry. But the guys we did have played hard and we almost got it done.”
Andrew Ortega led the Knights offensively with 14 points. Will Prater scored 12 and Bradley Rodgers added eight points.
Darnell said he expects to have the whole team back when the Knights make the trip to Bullhead City again to play in the Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament hosted by Mohave on Thursday.
However, the Thunderbirds and Knights will be in a different brackets. So hopes of revenge might have to wait until next year for Havasu.