COOLIDGE — Brooklyn Pablo continued her torrid run this week by scoring 23 points as the Coolidge girls (5-7) dominated San Tan Foothills (3-8) from start to finish, snapping a three-game losing streak.
A game after scoring 29 of her team’s 35 points in a loss to Thatcher, Pablo came out the gates hot, making all six of her shots in the first half. On the Bears’ senior night, she got the rest of her team involved from then on out, and they came out on top 42-23.
“Brooklyn couldn’t miss if she wanted to in the first half,” said Coolidge coach Aaron Monteverde. “I kept telling her we were going to continue to go through her, but she wanted to get the ball to her teammates.”
In what could be her final game in the Roundhouse, senior Nei’Shae Clegg had 11 points and eight steals as she led a Coolidge defense that until the last few minutes didn’t let the Sabercats have anything easy. The Bears held their opponents to only 12 points through the first three quarters.
“Shae said she didn’t want to end her last game in Coolidge as a loss,” Monteverde said. “So this win was for her, because she’s been a huge culture-changing person. She’s a great student, and she makes sure everybody is giving it 110% at practice, because she’s giving it 110%.”
The Bears were also very feisty on defense, making it hard for the Sabercats to get any passed off that would create some easy shots. In all, they forces 23 turnovers Friday, which allowed their offense to pick up the pace and get some layups. In addition to Clegg’s eight steals, Chelzie Downs had five and Pablo had four.
“That’s the way I usually like them to play, but I’ve been trying to get them to save their energy and to just play solid,” Monteverde said. “But tonight I told them, ‘Let’s go. Let’s get in their passing lanes and put a lot of pressure on them.’ They executed tremendously.”
The girls teams has typically been playing with only six players this season, but Africa Jordan wasn’t about to miss her senior night. Despite being hobbled and unable to walk or run without a limp, Jordan returned to the court and scored a basket that energized the rest of her team.
Clegg said it’s been a tough season with so few players, but it helped a lot that all the ones who were there were willing to do what they had to get some wins.
“We had to put in twice as much work as everybody else,” she said. “We had six girls but we were still able to get a bunch of wins in our region.”
Clegg credited Monteverde, who is in his second year in charge of the program, for keeping the team together and inspiring them to put in the work necessary to perform as well as they did. She wants to see the numbers grow in the coming seasons and that this squad can be an inspiration for how much is possible within each individual.
“I hope I leave a positive mark behind on the program,” Clegg said. “I hope they remember my hustle, and that it makes the younger players work harder.”