It isn’t often you shoot 26% from the field in the first half and win a state championship.
Luckily for the Valley Vista Monsoon their 6A Girls Championship opponent Millennium wasn’t much better and Vista eventually pulled away late for a 44-36 victory at Grand Canyon Arena Tuesday afternoon.
The Monsoon junior backcourt of Rysha Banner and Taylor Chavez combined for 33 points and 11 rebounds as Vista outscored the Tigers 16-11 in the fourth quarter in the battle of west Valley schools who played twice this season.
For Valley Vista, the state championship is a milestone for not just the school, but the supporting community, as well.
“Surprise is like a little town in a big city,” Valley Vista head coach Rachel Matakas said moments after the game. “Surprise has a lot of great things going for it and this is just one of the [great] things.”
A tearful Chavez hugged teammates and took in the moment as the 25-6 Monsoon hoisted the gold ball and took turns cutting their piece of the championship net.
“My freshman year we lost in the Sweet 16, my sophomore year the Final Four,” she explained. “We’ve just been waiting to get here and when we [got] here, we took advantage of it.”
Millennium freshman post Ali Zelaya was a force inside with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Dominique Forest paced the Tigers in scoring with 12.