Miami concludes season at state tournament

Aaron J. Tohtsoni/Arizona Silver Belt Gabe Escobedo goes up for a dunk.

The 19th-ranked Miami Vandals battled the third-ranked Pima Roughriders in the first round of the state tournament and nearly pulled off a major upset.

In the end Pima was victorious 63-51, in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.

The Vandals led 19-14 after the first quarter, which included a thunderous dunk by senior Gabe Escobedo, and led 29-25 late in the first half as senior Matthew Riddle battled with the Pima big men in the paint.

The two teams continued to battle back and forth in the second half with neither team getting much of an edge. With a minute left in the game, Miami trailed 57-51 but was whistled for a technical foul which allowed Pima to pull away for the win.

Despite being the 2A South region champions, the Miami Vandals had to travel to 14th-ranked Valley Sanders in the Conference Play-In round in order to qualify for the Class 2A state tournament.

They defeated Valley 69-42 for a state tournament bid.

Miami finished the season 13-15 and will graduate eight seniors including the dynamic duo of Escobedo and Riddle along with Brayden Kauers, Jaiden Perez, Curtis Shriner, Daniel Shriner, Tyree Koyayesva and Casimir Terrance.

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