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home : sports : sports April 28, 2016

2/9/2010 3:39:00 PM
Lady Phantoms head to state tourney
Seeded fourth in 1A North
Photo/Jeri Hall
Miriam Bankston goes for a jumpball against St. Michaels Feb. 5.
Photo/Jeri Hall Miriam Bankston goes for a jumpball against St. Michaels Feb. 5.
Silas Aiken
Special to the Grand Canyon News

For the first time in nine years, the Lady Phantoms will travel to the state playoff tournament. They clinched the berth with a one-point win over Joseph City.

Opening night of the 1A North Regional Tournament Feb. 5 saw a great game between the Lady Phantoms and the Joseph City Wildcats. Although the Wildcats lead most of the game, the Phantoms were able to pull out an exciting 44-43 one-point win.

Down by six points in the fourth quarter and with Phantoms' top scorer Madison Berry slowed by a foot injury, the Lady Phantoms looked to senior Miriam Bankston. Bankston delivered with nine of her 15 points in the fourth quarter to steal the win.

The win qualified the ladies for State.

"I'm just really proud of the girls," said Coach Dan Lopez. "We've come a long way from where the program was a few years ago."

The players were thrilled to be going to state.

"It feels awesome," said senior Guard Tiffany Kerr. "It feels sweet!"

The Lady Phantoms faced Rock Point and then St. Michaels Feb. 6 in the second and third rounds of the playoff. The girls played below their best looking out of sync and lost to Rock Point 37-49 and fell to St. Michaels 38-46. The Lady Phantoms finished in fourth place overall.

"We are happy to be going to state, but I think we could've played a little bit better," Kerr said. "We were a little disorganized on Saturday."

The Phantoms had hoped to finish first or second in the tourney entering the state playoffs with a higher seed. With the losses they will face No. One seed Salt River from the 1A East Region. Salt River also boasts the top overall ranking in the state.

Lopez was presented the 1A North West Conference Coach of the Year, another highlight of the regional tournament.

"The award means a lot to me because it is voted on by fellow coaches." he said.

The state playoffs start on Friday in Prescott.

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