The Ironwood Eagles started fast and finished strong, knocking off top-seed Millennium 78-70 to claim the Boys 5A State Championship before a rowdy crowd inside Desert Financial Arena in Tempe.
It also served as a bit of revenge after Millennium ended Ironwood’s playoff run last season.
Your Ironwood Eagles are state champs!!! pic.twitter.com/47fOWkbnJb
— Ironwood High School (@IronwoodHS) March 3, 2020
The second-seed doubled their three-point first quarter lead to six heading into halftime despite shooting less than 50 percent from the field. Ironwood was aided by a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line and were able to gain control in spite of the Tigers shooting a scorching 60 percent themselves before intermission.
A big key to keeping Millennium off balance was forcing turnovers. The Tigers committed 21 of them, compared to only 13 by Ironwood and the Eagles registered 15 steals.
It simply came down to Ironwood making a few more plays down the stretch thanks to a talented group of seniors and junior JJ White who scored 16 points and added five steals. The Eagles were paced by Dominic Gonzalez’s 18. Trent Hudgens and Bailon Black each scored 17.
Millennium also had four players score double figures. Talented junior center DaRon Holmes had 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in the loss.