PRESCOTT — Bisbee High School's girls basketball team held on to defeat Morenci 51-40 and advance to the 2A quarterfinals on Friday night in Prescott.
The Pumas had a good start, scoring the game's first basket and halting the Wildcats' offense with their press defense. Bisbee scored five unanswered points to take a 8-3 five minutes into the game. The Wildcats clawed their way back into the game and cut the Pumas lead to 8-7 with 4:12 to play in the first quarter.
Morenci made Bisbee pay for their early foul trouble as it kept them in the game throughout the four quarters, and gave them a 13-12 lead with just under a minute left in the first frame. Morenci carried that lead into the second quarter.
Bisbee regained the lead, 14-13, a minute into the second frame. However, Morenci knotted the game 14-14 with a free throw. Gabby Lopez responded with a 3-pointer to give the Pumas a 17-14 advantage with just under six minutes left in the half. Morenci pulled within one after knocking down a pair of free throws. Alexia Lopez scored the Pumas next five points to give them some breathing room, 22-18.
The Wildcats scored four points in 30 seconds to tie the game 22-22. Lopez connected on one free throw with 46 seconds left to give Bisbee a 23-22 advantage, which they held at halftime.
Bisbee scored the first 13 points of the second half to jump to a 36-22 lead. Morenci's first point of the frame came from the foul line with 3:08 on the clock. The Wildcats halted the Pumas offense with their pressure defense, forcing turnovers in Bisbee's half of the court. Morenci pulled within four points, 36-31, at the end of the third quarter.
Bisbee worked up a seven-point lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter. The Pumas maintained the 40-35 for two minutes in the middle of the frame. Bisbee used fast break opportunities to build their lead and hold off Morenci for the win.
The No. 2 Pumas plays No. 10 St. Johns Saturday at Yavapai College with a trip to the semifinals on the line. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.