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Lady Eagles forward McKenzie Dockerty stopped Sequoia Charter School player No. 32 before she could score.

Lady Eagles Fall Short of State Title Game

Even with a season-ending loss in the state tournament, the Salt River High School Lady Eagles basketball team ended their season on a strong note.

The No. 2-ranked Lady Eagles finished with a record of 17-3, and 9-1 in the division. The young team of 10 fell short of the state championship game and a chance to repeat as state champs, but coach Dino Puccetti said this is only motivation for next season.

“This was a very successful season for the Lady Eagles. We ended up 17-3 and handed the only loss to the state championship winner, EVAC. This team has a great opportunity to do great things in the future. They were fighters all year long and this experience will make them better basketball players,” said Puccetti.

On Thursday, February 16, the Lady Eagles beat Sequoia Charter School, 53-50. This intense game brought fans to their feet and forced the Lady Eagles to step up. Sequoia trailed the Lady Eagles all four quarters.

“Thursday’s game was a true team effort [with] very balanced scoring, and we had to weather a late run by the opposing team,” said Puccetti.

On Saturday, February 11, the Lady Eagles lost 40-38 to Sequoia Pathway Academy in the Final Four of the Canyon Athletic Association (CAA) Division 2 State Tournament. EVAC beat Sequoia Pathway Academy 53-35 in the championship game on February 21.

“When you get deep into the playoffs, such as the semifinals, you run into talented teams,” Puccetti said. “We unfortunately fell behind early and had to battle back to tie the game with less than two minutes to go. We fell just short, but that is basketball.

“The team’s perseverance after being down as much as 13 to even have a chance to win is a credit to their character and commitment to play through tough times. Saturday’s game showed the character of the girls and their fight. Falling behind is always a big hurdle to overcome.”

He added, “Hopefully, we have everyone return and build on what we did this year. The hardest thing for any team is starting over, especially with personnel. Hopefully we have some continuity going into next season.”

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