Chaparral snaps Arcadia’s 14-game win streak with stifling defense

Chaparral’s Summer Menke drives the lane against Arcadia post player Lauren Dib (40) during the Firebirds’ 54-42 win over the Titans Friday, Jan. 12. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

For most of the season, no team had a solution on how to stop the Arcadia High School girls basketball team, but then came Chaparral High School with its own brew.

The Firebirds (14–5, 3–0 Northeast Valley Region) used a solid defensive effort to topple the Titans (17–2, 1–1 Northeast Valley) in a 54–42 road win Friday, Jan. 12. The win ended a 14-game winning streak for the Titans all while holding them to their lowest point total of the season.

Furthermore, the Firebirds’ defense pressured the Titans to shoot 15-of-53 from the field and 4-of-21 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Arcadia guard Cassidy Campbell (22) tries to drive past Chaparral’s Summer Menke (11) during the Firebirds’ 54-42 win over the Titans Friday, Jan. 12. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Chaparral Head Coach Brian Porth said since the two teams play each other a lot each year, he could dial into exploiting Arcadia’s weaknesses.

“I thought we did a really good job at locking-in on defense,” he said after the game. “We were a little sloppy on offense early. We started to take care of the ball better, which made it tough for them to get good looks.”

Arcadia, however, had a dominant flash to start the game as it hopped out to an 8–2 lead.

The flash dimmed and the Firebirds compiled a 14–4 run to end the first quarter ahead 16–12. The Firebird defense held strong through the second as they held the Titans to just five points to take a 27–17 lead at the half.

But Arcadia wasn’t done yet. After the intermission, guard Bryce Nixon made a 3-point basket that ignited a 17–4 run that resulted in a 34–31 lead late in the third quarter.

Nixon scored nine of her 18 points during this stretch. Arcadia Head Coach Ivez Machiz said his halftime message was to be patient and to chip away at the lead by executing.

“We actually came out and really followed our philosophies, ran an offense,” he said after the game. “We were calm, we were patient, we worked hard on defense and we got into a good position.”

A pair of 3-pointers from Anna Ostlie put Chaparral back on top 37–34 to end the third. The Firebirds regained their prowess and outscored the Titans 17–8 in the fourth quarter.

Arcadia guard Bryce Nixon stares down the defense of Chaparral’s Maddie Vick (13) during the Firebirds’ 54-42 win over the Titans Friday, Jan. 12. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Coach Machiz said he thought his team lacked composure, especially down the final stretch. He said his team relaxed too much when it regained the lead and Ostlie’s two 3-pointers rattled the Titans a bit.

Coach Machiz said he also believes the loss was more of a result of Arcadia being out of sorts rather than it being anything Chaparral did.

“We weren’t patient on our offense so we made a lot of uncharacteristically bad passes,” he said. “Those are things that we can fix but I think it lies with us.”

Both teams are ranked high in 5A, which Summer Menke, who led the team in scoring with 15 points, said added to the excitement of this game.

“We have been looking forward to this game for so long and it was such a relief winning against them,” she said after the game.

Behind Menke, Ostlie scored 14 points with four 3-point baskets while Maddie Vick added in 11.

For the Titans, no other scorer had double digit point totals as post player Lauren Dib had eight points to follow behind Nixon.

Not only was the win the Firebirds’ third straight victory but Coach Porth said it was also a chance for Chaparral to prove itself against a “title contender.”

“The chance to go against Arcadia — we have them again on the last game of the regular season — is special,” he said. “It’s an opportunity not a lot of teams get and I thought our girls were prepared for tonight.”

As for the Titans, they still have a dominant record but Coach Machiz said he wants his team to commit to cleaning up its game moving forward.

The hope from this, Coach Machiz said, is to prevent the inability of coming back in the fourth quarter from happening again in future close games.

“We haven’t had many close games so maybe that’s something we need to work on a little bit,” he said.

Arcadia guard Jada DuBois (11) passes the ball to guard Bryce Nixon (24) and goes to set a screen against the Chaparral defense during the Firebirds’ 54-42 win over the Titans Friday, Jan. 12. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.