PRESCOTT VALLEY — Once a season starts winding down, and a postseason berth is on the line, you just never know who might come up big when you least expect it.
For Bradshaw Mountain’s girls basketball team, her name is senior Alexis Lara.
Bradshaw Mountain vs Prescott Girls Hoops
Lara, a reserve forward who hadn’t scored a single point through four periods on Saturday, Feb. 2, netted six of the Bears’ 10 points in overtime, guiding Bradshaw Mountain to an important 44-35 victory over pesky rival Prescott at Findlay Toyota Center.
“Wow, Alexis was huge in overtime,” said Bears coach Rick Haltom, who inserted Lara into the lineup in OT at the urging of his assistant coach, Scott Woolley. “But she’s a senior, so we expected that.”
With the win, the 4A No. 16-ranked Bears are riding a three-game winning streak, improving their record to 11-6 in power-point games and 9-3 in the Grand Canyon region. The Top 8 seeds in 4A automatically qualify for the state tournament, which tips off Feb. 13.
Bradshaw Mountain will reach the 4A state play-in tournament, which features the Nos. 9 through 24 seeds being paired in a one-game playoff format on Thursday, Feb. 7.
The Bears may have to travel to their opponent’s gym for the play-in round (the Nos. 9 through 16 seeds host), although that has yet to be determined. Each of the eight winning teams in the play-in round qualify for the 16-team state tournament as at-large qualifiers.
“Our goal is definitely to host the play-in game on Thursday,” Haltom said. “Sitting at [No.] 16 right now, it looks pretty good.”
On Saturday, Prescott and Bradshaw Mountain were knotted at 34-34 at the end of regulation. Bradshaw Mountain then went to work, outscoring the Badgers, 10-1, in the 4-minute extra session for the victory. Post Rylee Bundrick scored two of her team-high 14 points, and Sierra Woolley netted two of her 11 points, in the OT.
Bundrick finished with a double-double, adding 12 rebounds. Woolley finished with six assists, five boards and four steals, despite getting into foul trouble.
Center Delanie Clark registered eight points, six rebounds and three assists before fouling out late. The Bears swept the season’s two-game rivalry series. Bradshaw Mountain won, 56-35, Jan. 8 at Prescott.
“To beat your rival in overtime at the Event Center was so thrilling for the players and us as coaches,” Haltom said.
For Prescott, sophomore guard Hollie Dalton led the way with 13 points, five assists, three steals and two rebounds. Sophomore Kira Reily had 10 points, six boards and a steal. No other player scored more than five points for the Badgers.
Prescott, which has now lost four straight games, dipped to 6-11 in power-point games and 4-7 in region. They were ranked No. 26 in 4A going into Saturday and will likely fall short of the play-in round.
Prescott ties a bow on its 2018-19 season at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at region opponent Mohave (3-14, 0-11 Grand Canyon) in Bullhead City.
Bradshaw Mountain plays host to 4A No. 5-ranked Desert Edge (15-2) of the West Valley region in its regular-season finale at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Gary Kunow Gym in Prescott Valley. Since the Bears are playing a highly-ranked opponent, it is likely that they will stay at or near their current ranking, even if they lose.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.