Goodyear Millennium girls basketball coach Cory Rojeck claims that his team has not shot the ball very well this season.
With only one loss in their first 11 games, one wonders what the Lady Tigers will be like once they do find the touch.
Millennium dominated Phoenix Moon Valley 46-29 in the first of its two games in the 5th Annual Lady Titan Winter Hoops Classic on Thursday (Dec. 26) at Phoenix Arcadia. Host Arcadia also got off to a good start with a 45-26 triumph over Glendale Deer Valley.
“We are getting the open shots, we just aren’t making them,’’ said Rojeck, whose team’s only loss is to Phoenix Desert Vista. “I think that will come around, though.
“We are putting an unneeded amount of stress on ourselves. We just need to relax a little more and play basketball.’’
Millennium jumped to an 11-0 lead before Moon Valley turned on the switch and pulled within 21-16 at halftime.
The Moon Valley momentum was short-lived, however, as Millennium rode a big third quarter to a 34-18 lead entering the fourth. Moon Valley scored just one basket in that frame, and that did not come until 38 seconds remained.
Rojeck said the key for his team in the second half was that it utilized a 1-3-1 zone most of the time.
“That enables us to put pressure on the wings,’’ he said.
Raina Perez led Millennium with 13 points and Passionate Amukamara had 10. Tyra Euell-Long was Moon Valley’s top scorer with 10 points.
Both Millennium and Moon Valley were due to play Apache Junction later in the day.
Against Arcadia, Deer Valley found itself in a 14-0 hole after the first quarter and was not able to recover.
“Our defensive intensity is what carried us today. Those pressures set up everything else we do,’’ said Arcadia coach Ives Machiz, whose team climbed to 10-4 before a game against Glendale Mountain Ridge later in the day.
The Lady Titans also don’t have the height that some of Machiz’s teams have had in the past, so he said they have to make sure they box out underneath the basket and rebound aggressively.
Arcadia can hit from long range when it needs to. Senior guard Madison Kern fired home four 3-pointers and led the team with 12 points.
Another senior guard, Tori Wright, gave Arcadia an early boost before suffering a leg injury. She was hustling all over the floor at both ends. Machiz was considering holding Wright out of the second game and perhaps allowing her to return in Friday’s (Dec. 27) second day of competition at Arcadia.
Chayla Lynch led Deer Valley with seven points.