Aztecs advance to state championship game
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The Aztecs find themselves in a familiar place after advancing to the state championship game beating Cesar Chavez, 85-66.
The two teams squared off earlier in the season with the Aztecs only escaping by 1 point.
“We looked a little nervous and shaky to start the game,” Head Coach Neil MacDonald said. “Once we got our legs underneath us we knew we would be all right. We got stops defensively.”
The Aztecs were lead by senior Saben Lee who finished with 39 points, 12 rebounds and 8 steals. Lee racked up 19 of his points at the free throw line, only missing one the entire game.
“I knew it was win or go home,” Lee said. “Cesar Chavez is a good team so I had to help the offense anyway I could.”
MacDonald knows that without Lee’s performance the game may have closer.
“He stepped up and did what senior leaders do,” MacDonald said. “I think winning a championship is what is driving him.”
Point guard Alex Barcello also became hot to start the second half, finishing with 20 points in the game.
Freshman Eric Blackwell was the surprise preformer, coming off the bench to give the Aztecs 14 points shooting 5-for-7 from the field.
“We have confidence in him and that’s why we play him,” MacDonald said. “Both (Dalen Terry and Blackwell) played well tonight.”
With the win, the Aztecs are in the state championship game after missing out last year for the first time in five years. The team will play No. 2 seeded Basha.
“I know how well-coached (Basha) is,” MacDonald said. “They are totally different from (Cesar Chavez). Now we need to adjust and come back prepare for a team that is really disciplined.”