Canyon Del Oro senior Sarah Batterton had a message for her teammates on Friday night.
“Never give up hope, nothing is going to change until that buzzer goes off,” she said.
Her fellow Dorados got the message.
During a physical quarterfinal game against Prescott, the CDO girls’ basketball team (26-1) had its share of ups and downs, as both teams gained and lost the lead down the stretch before the Dorados pulled away in the final minutes to win 64-59.
“I never really had a doubt that we could pull it off,” said Batterton.
Up next for the Dorados: a 4A-I semifinal matchup with Phoenix Shadow Mountain at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at http://Jobing.com">Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
Batterton, with a game-high 24 points, was a large part of an 18-6 run in the fourth period that closed the door on Prescott.
Also turning in a key performance for the Dorados were senior point guard Charde Mayne, whose 12 points added to the offensive totals. Mayne made the bigger impact defensively, sliding across the floor on her stomach, diving for loose balls, creating turnovers and frustrating Prescott’s leading scorers, Paige Ramm and Ginger Campbell.
“I think all year our press has been wearing people down, and I think it’s obvious that that’s what happened today,” said CDO head coach Keri Brown.
Rounding out the scoring offense for the Dorados were senior guards Nicole Ruiz (11 points) and Nadi Carey (8 points), as well as junior forward Sydney Lewis (7 points) and senior guard Kayla Stepter (2 points).
Carey, a senior who transferred to CDO after winning a state championship with Flowing Wells last season, received high praise from Brown.
“Nadi Carey is really our player of the year,” said Brown with a smile.
While mostly excited about her team’s play, Brown found some areas where CDO needed improvement.
“I said to them (at halftime) ‘how many two-pointers are we going to miss?’” said Brown.
“Fourteen points’ worth of two-pointers we missed,” she added. “Once you take that out of the equation, we’re up at halftime, we just needed to realize how important those (points) were.”
CDO may have some extra confidence going into the semifinals – in a Dec. 2 contest, the Dorados defeated Shadow Mountain 52-42.
According to Brown, getting ready for the Matadors will be a matter of practicing “shooting, half-court sets” and, above all, “a lot of healing.”
For Batterton, the opponent doesn’t matter, but her team’s ability to go the distance does.
“You give 100 percent until that buzzer goes off,” Batterton said. “Because things could change in a split second.”