The Salome Frogs’ girls basketball team defeated the Anthem Prep Eagles, 42-25, Feb. 14 in Salome had have advanced to the next round of the Arizona Interscholastic Association state 1A playoffs. They’ll face the Fort Thomas Apaches in the next round at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
The Frogs are still undefeated this season.
The game started off slowly, with neither team able to do much of anything on offense. At the end of the first quarter, it was Anthem 6, Salome 5.
In the second quarter, the Frogs’ offense finally came alive. In the final two minutes of the quarter, they scored four buckets on four fast breaks. At half-time, it was Salome 20, Anthem 9.
When the second half started, the Frogs picked up where they had left off and built up their lead to 33-13 at the end of the third quarter.
The Eagles’ offense finally got on track in the fourth quarter, as they outscored the Frogs, 12-9. However, that proved to be too little too late, and they couldn’t dig out of the deep hole they had fallen into. The final was Salome 42, Anthem Prep 25.
Esme Mendoza led the Frogs with 16 points, including a pair of three-pointers and two free throws. Elly Huhtala had 12 points, including eight free throws. Celia Balderrama scored 6, and Tori Milts added 5.
For the Eagles, Gabby Baer provided most of the offense with 18 points.
“We executed our game plan, and we did what we needed to do,” Frogs’ Coach Bryan McCarty said. “When we play our defense, we can play anybody.”
The Frogs are undefeated this season. They led the 1A West with a 6-0 record. They were 13-0 against other 1A teams, and 15-0 overall. They are ranked No. 3 in the state in 1A in the AIA power points rankings.
“It’s been a blast with the girls this season,” he said.
This Thursday, the Frogs will face the No. 9 seed at the state tournament, the Fort Thomas Apaches. The Apaches placed first in the 1A East with a 7-0 record against their region opponents. They are 15-2 against 1A teams and 15-4 overall. Their season began slowly, with them losing three of their first four games. After that, they were almost unbeatable.