AIA365.com

Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer, AIA365.com

Better late than never for Fountain Hills girls basketball

A confusing beginning and a wild ending made Thursday night’s (Jan. 30) game memorable for the girls basketball teams from host Fountain Hills and Scottsdale Salt River.

The game began 38 minutes late after Salt River officials thought the game was to start at a later hour.

The delay didn’t seem to affect either team much. They traded turnovers and a few wild shots.

Division IV defending champion Salt River had a two-point lead with 3:38 left in the game, but the roof caved in. Division III Fountain Hills went on an 11-0 run to close out the game and picked up a 48-39 victory.

Fountain Hills was fifth in Division III power points entering the game and Salt River was fourth in Division IV.

A three-point basket by Ashlin Catabiano, one of four for her on the night, put Fountain Hills ahead to stay with 2:36 left.

The Falcons then trimmed nearly two valuable minutes off the clock with excellent perimeter passing and ball-handling before scoring on a layup by Natalie Stilwell off the feed from Sierra Jarriel.

“We work on that quite a bit in practice,’’ said Fountain Hills coach Amanda Baca. “We want to make sure we take care of the ball as much as we can.’’

Early in the game, she said her team did not get in a good shooting groove. That gradually improved as the game wore on.

Baca was happy to come away with a victory. Fountain Hills is 17-2, Salt River 23-3.

“They are a division below us but they are a good team and they are well-coached,’’ Baca said. “That’s the type of game we need at this point of the season.’’

Stilwell led Fountain Hills with 17 points and Catabiano had 16.

Point guard Ashley Lomavaya topped Salt River with 17 points and Breana Allen added 11.