SIERRA VISTA — Buena High School’s girls basketball team sent their seniors off with a thrilling 49-41 win over Ironwood Ridge Friday night in their final regular-season home game.

Steph Anderson scored the Colts’ first four points in the opening 3 1/2 minutes. Jaslyn Booker then knocked down a free throw with 4:20 on the clock, but Buena’s offense stalled after that and they struggled on the offensive boards. Ironwood Ridge went on an 8-0 run to end the first quarter with a 10-5 lead.

Buena outscored Ironwood Ridge 9-7 in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to one pointe with 3:25 left in the half, though Ironwood Ridge bumped their lead back to five points, 17-12, with a minute to play in the quarter. The Colts ultimately trailed 17-14 at halftime.

Booker and Lydia Griffith sparked Buena in the third quarter to take back the lead. The pair of seniors teamed up for a combined 16 points in the eight-minute period. Bianca Bellinger knocked down a long 2-pointer to tie the game 17-17 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter.

Booker then hit a pair of free throws to give Buena a 19-17 lead. The Colts didn’t relinquish the advantage and took a 36-28 advantage into the final quarter.

The Nighthawks pulled within five points, 36-31, with 5:50 to play. Alani Encinas drilled a 3-pointer to push Buena’s lead to 39-31. She led the Colts with 13 points in Friday’s win. Buena was able to keep Ironwood Ridge out of reach and capitalized from the free throw line. Booker and Griffith added 12 points each in the victory.

Prior to the start of Friday’s game, the Colts recognized the team’s five seniors: Griffith, Booker, Anderson, Bellinger and Alycia Cox. The seniors were key pieces in turning the program around and were instrumental in Buena being back-to-back 5A Southern Region champions.

Buena moved to 15-2 overall and will close out their regular season on Tuesday when they travel to Tucson to play Sunnyside.


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