By Perry Cohen
Coming into the 5A Women’s State Basketball Championship Game, No.1 ranked Chaparral Firebirds wasn’t expected to compete with the No.2 ranked and reigning state champs, Mesquite Wildcats.
Despite being a major underdog, Chaparral came out victorious defeating Mesquite 63-55.
“I don’t know if anyone outside of this family right here, thought we had a chance of winning this game,” Chaparral coach Brian Porth told Sports360AZ.com. “You see the paper, you see online and nobody thought we’d be within 20 points in this game – not a single person. It shows a lot about how talented these kids are and it doesn’t matter who we play, we’re able to compete.”
Porth was especially proud of his team’s composure, considering they were playing against the team that knocked them out of the state tournament during the semifinal round, last season.
Chaparral senior guard, Maddie Vick, had a stellar night leading her team in point (17), total rebounds (9), and steals (4) in 31 minutes of play.
After the Firebirds departed the state tournament last year, Vick knew they would have a challenge ahead. However, the loss motivated her and the rest of the Chaparral squad.
“Last year they took us out in the final four, which was rough,” Vick told Sports360az.com. “Coming into this game we knew we wanted it and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, either. They (Mesquite) are an amazing team too. It was awesome.”
The win gives Chaparral its first girls’ state basketball title since 2001.