By COREY McMULLEN
After opening the season with a dominant win over Park University, the Aztecs headed to Thatcher for the Eastern Arizona Classic.
The Aztecs were overpowered in their first game of the tournament by Odessa College, falling 76 to 47.
The Aztecs were quick to bounce back, and put a 69-point beat down on Southwestern College.
The Aztecs got going early with the help of sophomore Haile Lawson, who put up 22 points, was 10 of 12 shooting and had 6 rebounds. Fellow sophomore Marlena Arroyo-Plata had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. She went 5 for 6 from the field.
The Aztecs would dominate every quarter of the game, outscoring the Southwestern College 53-10 in the second and third quarters.
The Aztecs’ third game of the tournament was canceled against Palo Verde College.
The Aztecs continued to run through the competition, putting a 45-point slaughtering of Arizona Christian University JV. The Aztecs had five players score in double digits, hitting 14 three-pointers and 22 of 25 from the free-throw line. Sophomores Alyssa Perez and Haile Gleason each scored 14 points. Sierra Mich’l finished with 11 points as she went 8 for 9 from the foul line. Freshmen Dianne Hefner and Justine Cooper each netted 11 points.
The Aztecs are off to a lackluster start with .500 record.
The Aztecs opened the season with a dominant 37-point win over Christian Community College with Kaylon Tippins and Rashad Smith both finishing with a double-double. Sophomore Tippins scored 21 points and grabbed a team-high 15 rebounds to go along with three blocks and three steals. Fellow sophomore Smith also finished with 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
The No. 4-ranked Aztecs would drop 96-80 to Lee College. The Aztecs trailed most of the game. Lee went on a 19-6 run in the first four-and-a-half minutes and took a 56-36 advantage at halftime. Freshman Jake Lippert (Saguaro High School) scored a team-high 22 points as he went 8 for 15 from the field and 5 for 11 from 3-point range.
Sophomore Smith (Hamilton HS) added 20 points and 6 assists. Tippins (Cholla HS) had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds to go along with 2 steals and 2 blocks. He went 7 for 11 from the field.
The Aztecs bounced back against Park University with a 86-76 victory. The Aztecs would go into halftime up 34-31.
Lieppert scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Sophomore Rashad Smith finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds, while fellow sophomore Cole Gerken added 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Sophomore Jordan Robinson contributed with 12 points.
The Aztecs fell to Howard College 79-72 to close out the Pima Tip Off Classic.
The Aztecs led 33-28 at halftime but were outscored 51-39 in the second half.
Sophomore Gerken made six 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 19 points. Fellow sophomore Smith added 16 points, while sophomore Khalil Curtis finished with 15 points. Lieppert contributed with 14 points.