Jan. 5, 2005 - GAME OF THE WEEK: Canyon del Oro girl's basketball team will begin regional play Jan. 11 when the Dorados take on Flowing Wells in an early season game with long term Class 5A Southern Region implications.

Led by senior Jessi Ingraham, CDO (9-4) will be looking to avenge a loss to the Caballeros at the Flowing Wells Holiday tip-Off Dec. 29. In that game Flowing Wells (12-4, 2-0 5A Southern Region) found itself down six at the half before storming back to win 51-40.

Sitting atop the 5A Southern Region, the Caballeros have a head start on CDO in the region, winning their first two region games against Sierra Vista Buena and Sahuaro. The region promises to be a highly competitive one, said Flowing Wells head coach Todd Holthaus.

"It's going to be a dog fight," said Holthaus, who enters his seventh year patrolling the sideline for Flowing Wells. "There are four really good teams."

Sahuaro and Salpointe also figure to contend for the region, he said.

Holthaus' squad is a mix of senior experience and freshman youth. Senior forward Lisa McBride and senior guard Tiffany Valenzuela make up the cornerstones of the program, adopting leadership roles. McBride has already inked a scholarship to play for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in August.

The key to containing the Dorados will be slowing up its "weapons" said Holthaus. The perfect compliment of senior guard Ingraham and junior center Erica Carlson have made CDO a surprise team this season.

In the first matchup be-tween these two schools, CDO scored most of its points with strong outside shooting and perimeter play.

To be successful against Flowing Wells, CDO will need to establish strong play in the post-position, said Dorados head coach Kerri Brown.

Flowing Wells will use its defensive mindset to capitalize on turnovers and shut down a potentially explosive CDO squad.

"They are all around offensively strong and defensively strong," said Brown. "They've got a great program down there right now."

CDO is diving right into region play with tough matchups against Mountain View, Flowing Wells, Salpointe and Buena all within a nine day stretch to start the new year.

"We feel we match up well with anyone in the conference," said Brown, who believes Flowing Wells and Salpointe are the teams to beat this season.

CDO will travel to Flowing Wells for a 7 p.m. tip-off Jan. 11.

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