Maricopa vs Mica Mountain girls basketball

Maricopa’s Jayden Bridges fights for the ball Friday against Tucson Mica Mountain during the Central Arizona Holiday Classic in Casa Grande.

CASA GRANDE — Holiday tournaments have a way of bringing a team together, and the Maricopa girls basketball team’s newfound chemistry was on display in two games Friday.

In the first day of the Central Arizona Holiday Classic in Casa Grande, the Rams won their first game Avondale Agua Fria 53-43 and later their second against Tucson Mica Mountain 52-39. That put them in line for the tournament championship, but they lost on Saturday to Tucson Amphitheater 61-30.

The wins showcased a newly confident offense, with faster passes and plays that steadily gave the team a better chance at open shots. Even compared to a week before, the chemistry improvement was noticeable.

“We’ve been working very, very hard on basic fundamental principles,” said Maricopa coach George Carmen after their games on Friday. “The way we played tonight had good ball movement, good rotations, stuff like that.”

The game against Mica was led by Meoni Edwards and Jayden Bridges, a duo that Carmen feels is going to stand out as the season goes along. Both play on the wing and bring plenty of athleticism, getting to the rim regularly and drawing fouls.

Edwards had a game-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Bridges wasn’t far behind, with 15 points and an impressive 11 rebounds as she made her presence known on the glass.

Both players credited the spirit of the team, which has brought a lot of energy to each game. Almost every player on the bench was shouting encouragement and giving instructions throughout the entire game, and they said that kind of camaraderie has opened the game up for the Rams.