Rivalry games are huge everywhere, this is especially true in Flagstaff. Coconino High school Panthers vs. Flagstaff High School Eagles, The Ultimate Rivalry. Flagstaff comes out on top in their previous matchup on January 17, 68-38. On February 11, the Panthers looked to exact their revenge. Both teams are poised to make the playoffs and possibly make a deep run.
The Eagles won the opening tip but turned the ball over right away. Then the eagles were able to steal the ball right back. The game started out slow and sloppy with six of the first seven possessions ending in turnovers. The first points of the game came off the three-point shot of senior Devyn Hatathlie for the Eagles who was playing in her final regular home game of her high school career. The Panthers were able to respond with a quick two-pointer of their own shot by sophomore Elyce Palmer. Neither team seemed to be able to get much going for the first three minutes with the score still being 3-2 with five minutes left in the quarter. Then Flagstaff was able to go on a 9-1 run for the rest of the quarter. Finishing the quarter with a 12-3 lead.
Coconino started the second quarter with back to back turnovers but only allowing two points coming off a layup from Gracelyn Nez. Elyce Palmer was able to respond had hit a huge three-pointer. Then Miyah Verse got a quick steal off the next panther possession and was able to get a Fastbreak layup to add two more points to the Eagles lead. Coconino was still looking to get something going, they were able to get a nice layup coming off the hands of Elyce Palmer again. Elyce Palmer was able to score more than half of the Panthers first-half points. The Eagles still ended up on top after the second quarter with a 21-14 lead.
Miyah Verse was able to start the second half strong with draining a quick shot for the Eagles. For the Panthers, they were able to respond with a huge three-pointer from Kiana Manuelito. Then Mariah Myerson went on a huge run for the Eagles scoring six straight points. The Panthers looked to answer, they were driving down the paint then going up for a layup but there was a huge block by Miyah Verse. At this point, the Panthers were down and Marilee David wanted to fire her team up, she was able to get a quick steal but unable to connect on the other end. The Eagles had a dominating third quarter now leading 41-17.
Once again, the Eagles started out strong with Miyah Verse able to get a putback off a three-pointer. Then after being able to stop the Panthers, Emma Doskickz, who leads Arizona in three-pointers made, hit a three from the top of the arc. However, the Panthers and Kiana Manuelito were able to respond with a three of her own. Th Eagles slowed down quite a bit. The game was already out of hand at this point. However, the Panthers were not ready to give up at least not while being led by Elyce Palmer. Her and the Panthers were able to outscore the Eagles 11-7, but it was not enough. The Eagles still won with the final score being 48-28.
The Eagles are poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. They will most likely be hosting a home game in the first round. The Panthers have the possibility to be forced to play in a play-in game. Both of these teams want to make the ultimate goal of winning the state championship.