The Ironwood Ridge High School girls soccer team has advanced to the 5A State semi-finals after a pair of home wins last week in the state playoffs.
The No. 4 seeded Nighthawks edged No. 5 Campo Verde 2-1 to advance to the semis. Kelly Koppy buried a penalty kick in the late stages to put Ironwood Ridge up for good.
After a scoreless first half the Nighthawks found the back of the net early in the second half as Berkeley Larsen converted a Mariah Loya pass for the score.
Less than three minutes later Campo Verde tied things up on a penalty kick and the game remained tied for the next 30 minutes.
The Nighthawks opened the playoffs with a 5-1 win over Independence High School. They left little doubt as they stormed out to a 2-0 first half lead then scored their final three goals in the second half, which also saw the Patriots convert their lone score of the game.
Loya led the way with a pair of scores, while Koppy added a goal and an assist. Alyssa Kopach and Isabella Kopach also scored for Ironwood Ridge.
It is the second straight appearance for the Nighthawks in the state semi-finals. They fell 1-0 in the third round last year to Salpointe.
The Mountain View High School boys fell 2-0 to Independence in the first round of the playoffs. After winning their play-in game, the No. 10 Mountain Lions could not overcome the No. 7 Patriots.
German Lopez scored twice, once in each half, to propel Independence to the win.
The loss dropped Mountain View to 7-8-2 overall, though they were 7-4-2 in regular season games after an 0-3 in the Brandon Bean Invitational, which did not count towards the postseason.
The Marana High School girls basketball team clinched the 5-A Sonoran Regional title with a 60-9 win over Desert View. The Tigers finished 8-0 in regional play and are 17-1 in regular season games and 21-4 overall. They are currently riding an 11-game winning streak. Their last loss came in December when they fell in the Cactus Jam Tournament to Oakton High School from Virginia.
The Tigers are ranked No. 4 in 5A and will automatically qualify for the state playoffs. The top-8 teams get an automatic berth, while the teams seeded 9-24 meet each other in single elimination play-in games.
Barring a change in rankings between now and seeding, the Tigers should be in line to host a pair of playoff games.
The Tigers dominated their region. In addition to running the table, the Tigers did not allow more than 30 points in any region game, holding six opponents to 21 or less.
The Tigers left no doubt in the win over the Jaguars. They shut out Desert View for the first half and led 54-6 heading into fourth quarter when the Tigers pulled all of their starters.
Alyssa Perez was one of three players in double figures, leading Marana with 13 points. Mele Hala’ufia scored 11, while Grace Hala’ufia chipped in 10.
Ironwood Ridge finished tied for second in the 5A Southern Region, a game behind champion Cienega. Both the Nightahwks and Mountain View are ranked in the top-20 and qualified for the play-in games. The Nighthawks opened the week ranked No. 10 in the state and are assured of hosting a game, while the Mountain Lions just missed out on a home game after finishing No. 17.
The Pusch Ridge girls also cruised to a regional title, finising 11-0 in the 3A South Region. They are currently ranked in the top-4 in the state.
On the boys side Mountain view won the 5A Southern Region, despite a loss to second place Cienega in the final game of the regular season. The Mountain Lions went 6-2 in the region, edging Cienega and Buena by a game in the standings.
The Mountain Lions are currently ranked No. 13 and will host a play-in game.
No other large area school will make the playoffs, however two smaller schools will. Both the Gregory School and Immaculate Heart are ranked in the top-10 in 1A. The Gregory School are ranked No. 1 in the state with a 16-1 record, while Immaculate Heart is No. 9 at 12-5.
Both schools’ girls team should also be playoff bound as they are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in 1A.